Berhampur, Oct 27 (LocalWire): Berhampur might be miles away from the Gujarati, Marwari and Bengali heartlands but this doesn’t deter them from celebrating Diwali, the festival of the lights, which is one of the most important annual festivals for them.
Gujaratis and Marwaris, who have made Silk City their home for generations are gearing up to celebrate the festival by invoking Goddess Laxmi, while visiting pandals and paying homage to Goddess Kali Diwali was wrought with nostalgia for the Bengalis.
‘The festival is important to us and we are celebrating it in a big way as this is the beginning of the new financial year for us,’ said Naresh Vaghela, a Gujarati, who settled here.
The business account was closed on Tuesday, a day before Diwali, he said. Vaghela said on Diwali, it was customary for most traders to visit their friends and relatives and distribute sweets.
Naresh Agrawalla, a Marwari said, ’We will celebrate Diwali and offer prayers to Goddess Laxmi. Almost all the household articles including the account books are offered in the ritual in all households of Marwaris.’
Like Durga Puja, Bengali settlers here also keep alive their tradition by worshipping Goddess Kali. The community Kali Puja was started by the Bengalis over 87 years ago in the town.
‘Our forefathers had started the Durga puja and Kali puja by involving the Bengalis who settled in the town about 87 years ago and we have been continuing the same tradition till now,’ said Ashok Kumar Jana, a Bengali settler.
Several Bengali people will assemble at Chatterjee lane at night to witness the Kali Puja, generally held at midnight.
The idolmakers have come from Bengal along with the priests and cooks, said Sarojit Sarkar, another Bengali.
‘Our aim is to keep alive the Bengali tradition during the festivals like Durga Puja and Kali Puja, even though we are far away from our home state,’ he said. The Bengali settlers are also performing the community Kali Puja at the Bengali street here for the last 58 years.
Similarly, the community Kali Puja was held in different places in the city. The organizers have made elaborate arrangements for the rituals and cultural programmes.