By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 10: The two-day festival of Kali Puja and Deepawali began with devotiol fervour and gaiety on Tuesday, with earthen lamps and coloured lights lighting up homes while devotees flocked to Kali temples, shaktipeeths and marquees across the State. In Guwahati, around 400 Kali pujas were organized, with religious rituals, worship and offerings to the Mother Goddess starting from 9 pm onwards. While puja was conducted in Kali temples with traditiol rituals, the community pujas in places like Ganeshguri, Paltan Bazar Station Tiniali, Beltola Tiniali, Down Town, Gandhi Basti, Bhootth, Vivekanda Sporting Club, Garchuk, Azara and Kahikuchi LP School also featured cultural programmes. Puja committees spared no efforts to attract visitors with ormental lighting and gaily decorated marquees.
With the puja lag beginning from 9 pm onwards, puja committees installed idols of the Goddess early in the evening. The rituals of sacrifice were slated from 12 o’clock at midnight, with devotees readying offerings like goats, ducks, pigeons, gourd and sugarcane. According to religious belief, Goddess Kali is worshipped on the darkest night of the Assamese Kati month so that darkness is cleared away from the hearts of devotees, followed by symbolically lighting up earthen lamps in every home.
Prayers to the Mother Goddess is therefore followed by Deepawali, the Festival of Light. People install plantain trees in front of their homes, decorating these with earthen lamps with the belief that Goddess Lakshmi will then come to bless their homes with wealth and prosperity. There is another belief that, on this day of Deepawali, the Lord Vishnu’s incartion Sri Ramchandra returned with Sita from Lanka by vanquishing demon king Rava, and the people welcomed them by lighting earthen lamps in front of every house.
In Guwahati however, most homes were brightly lit up with decorative lighting. As in recent years, the Diwali market in the city this time is flush with Chi-made ormental lighting, fancy lamps, decorative candles as well as fireworks from Barpeta, Sivakasi of Tamil du, Muzaffargar of Uttar Pradesh, apart from the Made in Chi varieties. Festive season offers are attracting customers in droves to electronic goods and other consumer product outlets. The market for dry fruits and sweetmeats are also booming while shopping malls and multiplexes are doing roaring business.