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Mahalaya

Seven days before the puja, from the day of Mahalaya starts Devipaksha. People take a holy dip in the river Ganga at dawn and pray for the departed souls - the act is called 'Tarpan'. Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called Mahisasura Mardini or The Annihilation of the Demon. This All India Radio (AIR) program is a beautiful audio montage of recitation from the scriptural verses of Chandi Kabya, Bengali devotional songs, classical music and a dash of acoustic melodrama.

This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya.

For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the Mahisasura Mardini broadcast.

THE FACTS

The occasion of Mahalaya, always goes on reminding mankind of the divine scheme of things that the Evil may have had its say, but it is ultimately the Good that has the last laugh.

The day of Mahalaya is also the day of remembrance. On this day, people offer 'tarpan' in memory of their deceased forefathers. The banks of River Ganga becomes a sea of humanity. Priests are seen busy performing 'Tarpan' for devotees in groups. The rituals start from early down and end during the midday. Devotees and worshipers buy clothes and sweets to offer to their forefathers. 'Tarpan' is to be performed in empty stomach. After offering 'tarpan', people eat at the same place

 
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