29 October, Kolkata
Kali Puja, one of the major festivals, of the Bengalis, is being celebrated today with due religious fervour and gaiety all over the state, a day ahead of Diwali.
Devotees thronged Kali temples, including Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Tarapith, since early morning. People in large numbers from all walks of life mingling in an ocean of humanity were seen visiting Kali Puja pandals, illuminated with dazzling lights in the evening. Houses and shops are decked up and elaborate rangoli pattern drawn in front of houses and courtyard.
With evening descending, people of all ages have started bursting crackers and exchanging sweets with family and friends.
This time the Chinese have invaded the city market like anything — from stylised diyas to stylised lanterns, from jhalars to colourful bulbs — flying off the racks like hot cakes.
Large crowds were also seen before major community Kali Puja pandals in areas like Amherst Street and Chetla in the city as well as at Barasat, Madhyamgram and Naihati in North 24-Parganas district. Police and fire brigade personnel across the city kept a vigilant eye on the festive proceedings, including the sale of banned firecrackers.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conveyed her heartiest greetings to the people on the occasion of Diwali.
“I convey my heartiest greetings to the people of West Bengal on the occasion of Deepavali,” she posted on her social networking page.
Besides, opening special control rooms, both state and city police maintained a strict vigil to avert any untoward incident during the celebrations.
Though a steady drizzle has dampened the spirit of buying crackers to some extent yesterday, today with cyclone threat proving a damp squib following loss of strength, the Kolkatans have heaved a sigh of relief.
Long queues were seen in front of jewellery shops on the occasion of Dhanteras yesterday as the Hindus believe that purchasing gold on the occasion ensures that coffers remain filled for the entire coming year.