Social organisation ‘Pragnya’ has been organising Bharat Mata Pujan for the last several years during the Durga Puja festival in Guwahati. From October 19, 2023, art connoisseurs, along with the patriotic citizens of the city, will gather at Chandmari AEI field in Guwahati to celebrate the legacy, culture and traditions of the great land as a five-day long festival will unfold a series of programs, including Akhand Bharat Parikrama, Guru Pujan, Kanya Pujan, Mohiyasi Matri Sanman presentation, Vande Mataram dance competition, Alpana contest, puppet shows, folk musical performance, mime shows, exhibition and splendid cultural functions.
Organised under the initiative of Pragnya, the Bharat Mata Pujan 2023 will also witness a group performance on the theme of Vande Mataram with 500 participating artists, and the traditional string puppet theatres from Assam will entertain the children every evening on the ground.
On the other hand, the Assam government on October 18 decided to provide ₹ 10,000 to each 6953 puja pandals across the state as grants-in-aid. The decision was taken in the state cabinet meeting held in Guwahati under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Announcing the cabinet decisions, Assam Tourism Minister Jayanta Mall Baruah said that ₹ 10,000 each would be given to 6953 puja pandals as grants-in-aid by the state government. Meanwhile, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday took blessings in several puja pandals in Nalbari district. He offered puja in the famous Billeswar temple which has been celebrating Durga Puja for the last hundreds of years.
Durga Puja: The Rituals and Their Significance
Durga Puja stands as one of the most celebrated and devotional festivals in the Hindu calendar. The annual puja of goddess Durga is celebrated with immense splendour and devotion. The five-days period of fervent worship that culminates in Durga Visarjan (emmerson of Durga idols) on Vijayadashami. The Eastern part of the nation starting from Odisha, West Bengal, Assam Tripura and a large part of Bihar and Jharkhand celebrates the Puja from Maha Shasthi Vijaya Dashami offering prayers to the goddesses Durga in makeshift pandals.
Women prepare delectable delicacies and offer bhog prasad to Maa Durga. Additionally, idols of Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati, and Lord Ganesha grace the households. The grand culmination of Durga Visarjan includes the celebrated Sindoor Khela, where married women offer vermillion to Goddess Durga and, in a gesture of goodwill, apply it to one another, bestowing blessings of happiness and fortune.