As with other religious festivals, Durga Puja, the largest such occasion for the Hindu community, has also seen the COVID-19 pandemic leave its mark on its celebration this year.
The five-day festival started with Maha Sashthi puja at temples across the country last Thursday, maintaining health guidelines set by the government due to Covid-I9 pandemic.
Recently the Health Services Division issued some directives for maintaining health and safety during Durga Puja, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. On October 4, the Home Ministry gave some instructions to ensure the security of the puja mandaps and maintaining law and order.
Puja has been organized at 30,213 puja mandapas across the country this year. In Dhaka city, the main puja mandaps have been set up at Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Shakhari Bazar, the Ramna Kali Mandir, and Banani, which has come to be regarded, in a relatively short period of time, as one of the country’s most vibrant and popular mandaps, at the heart of Kemal Ataturk Avenue.
As per Hindu scriptures, the festival marks the victory of goddess Durga in her battle against the shape-shifting asura, Mahishasura.
Thus, the festival epitomises the victory of good over evil, though it is also in part a harvest festival celebrating the goddess as the motherly power behind all of life and creation.
A UNB photojournalist captured photos of devotees celebrating Durga Puja at the Banani Puja Mandap on Sunday, which marked one of the most important days of the festival.
A family takes a picture with the Idol of Goddess Durga at the Puja Mandap in Banani.
A Hindu preacher at the Puja Mandap delivers blessings to a child devotee and her mother.
A man and his son pray before the likeness of Goddess Durga at Banani’s Puja Mandap.
Women and teenagers taking selfies during Durga Puja celebrations in Banani’s Puja Mandap.
Source: United News of Bangladesh