Durga Puja 2012

We spent our rainy Sunday afternoon in Little India, kicking off the Hindu festive season. It is navrathri (literally “nine nights”), a festival dedicated to the worship of the nine avatars of the Goddess Durga.

Durga is the ferocious protector of the righteous and destroyer of evil. She is usually portrayed as riding a lion and carrying weapons in her many arms.”According to lore, the Goddess Durga spends the whole year caring for her husband, Lord Shiva, in the Himalayas. But for four golden days in autumn, she returns to her parents’ house, accompanied by her children, an occasion that mortals celebrate with pomp and pageantry.

Durga Puja, which commences on the seventh day of navrathri, is the biggest, most important religious festival for Bengali-Hindus. Apparently, the Bengali Association Singapore‘s six-day celebration, which began on Friday, is the largest outside Kolkata (Calcutta)!

If you are keen on seeing the magnificent idol (above), the celebration continues until Wednesday, October 24 on the grounds along Race Course Road, not far from Little India MRT Station.

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We were woefully underdressed. Really, truly, embarrassingly underdressed. I should have worn my favorite Kantha (embroidered) silk sari and adorned myself in all sorts of gold baubles. Ah, well. Now, I know for next year!

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