Kolkata, Nov 13, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): With the bursting of banned crackers and display of fireworks all around and chains of dazzling lights embracing the houses in the City of Joy, people can realized the day to celebrate Kali Puja and Diwali in Kolkata.
In Kolkata, the celebration of Kali Puja is considered to be the second most important festival after Durga Puja.
Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, it is celebrated every year on the new day of Hindu month Ashwin in Bengal.
Interestingly, on this day of ‘Diwali’ the entire India worships goddess Laksmi- the Hindu goddess of wealth while the Bengalis, Assamese and Oriyas adore Goddess Kali.
In Kolkata, Kali puja, the festival of lights is celebrated with immense fun and mirth.
Like Durga Puja, goddess is worshipped by the people in this city in both their homes as well by the local organizers in temporary ‘pandals’ (Murqee).
A lot of rituals is associated with the worship of goddess Kali, who is worshiped at night with ‘Tantric’ rites and ‘mantras’.
She is offered red hibiscus flowers, animal blood in a skull, sweets, rice and lentils, fish and meat.
It is prescribed that a worshipper should meditate throughout the night until dawn.
Homes may also practise rites in the Brahmanical (mainstream Hindu-style, non-Tantric) tradition with ritual dressing of Kali in her form as Adya Shakti Kali.
Animals are ritually sacrificed on Kali Puja day and offered to the goddess though the practice is now less in vogue. Animal rights groups have protested too this ritual of sacrifice.
A celebration of Kali Puja in Kolkata is also held in a large cremation ground where she is believed to dwell.
Kalighat temple and Dakshineswar Kali Temple are two of the famous Kali temples in the city and on this day the priests worship goddess Kali in different ways in this two temples.
In Kalighat temple, Kali is worshipped as Lakshmi on the day of ‘Kali Puja’, reflecting an essence of ‘Vaishnava Haldars’ on Kali worship.
The temple is visited by thousands of devotees on this day.
On the other hand in Dakshineswar Kali Temple where famous Kali devotee Sri Sri Ramakrishna was a priest the celebrations have changed little from his times.
Chetla area in South Kolkata hosts few of the popular ‘puja’ in the city.
Moreover, Kali puja and Diwali is marked by the decoration with diyas (lamps) and candles while the bursting crackers is banned owing to noise pollution. It is widely flouted though with the law enforcers mostly acting leniently on the revellers.
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