The Hindu community of the country will celebrate the Maha Ashtami Puja today, the third day of the five-day Durga Puja, with thousands of devotees expected to throng the puja mandaps (pavilion) to worship the mother goddess.
Kumari Puja, a special feature of puja to worship girls as the mother, will be held at 11:00am on the day at Ramkrishna Math and Mission in Dhaka and elsewhere across the country after two years of hiatus.
Maha Ashtami day is considered the most important day of Durga Puja as it marks the victory of the goddess over Mahishasura (the buffalo-demon).
On this day, the goddess will be bathed symbolically and dressed for the final battle just before Sondhi Puja which will be held from 4:44pm to 5:32pm. It is believed that goddess Durga will kill the demon during this time.
Earlier in the morning, during the Ashtami puja, the devotees will sing hymns and offer flowers seeking the blessings of deity.
Maha Ashtami holds special significance in the Hindus’ social and religious calendar. However, Maha Saptami of Durga Puja was celebrated on Sunday with elaborate rituals at over 32,000 mandaps across the country.
On this day, all devotees went to temples and mandaps in the morning to offer anjali (worship) at temples.
The spectacular puja mandaps with colourful idols of the goddess gave a festive look to cities, urban centres and even rural villages of Bangladesh.
Thousands of devotees gathered at different mandaps to participate in the rituals and other arrangements of puja organisers.
A mood of festivity was found among the devotees irrespective of ages marking the festival.
This year Devi Durga, along with her four children, has arrived riding on the elephant and will return jaunting on the boat by fulfilling the earth with crops.