Hindu devotees across the country celebrated Mahalaya, the ritual that marks the beginning of the Durga Puja, on Thursday.
Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das inaugurated the ceremony of the day by lighting a lamp at Dhakeshwari National Temple.According to Hindu scripture Mahalaya, Bodhon and Sandhi Puja are the three chapters of Durga Puja.
Mahalaya is an invitation to the mother goddess Durga to her parental home. “The goddess is first invited by reciting scriptural verses from ChandiKavya,” said Ratan Chakraborti, the chief priest of Dhakeshwari National Temple.
The ceremony marks the beginning of Devi-Paksha and the end of Pitri-Paksha. The devotees pray and offer food for the salvation of their ancestors’ souls during a portion of the Pitri-Paksha.
This year Durga Puja will be celebrated from Oct 23 to 26.