Shubho Mahalaya 2022
In West Bengal and the northeast, Durga Puja is celebrated during Navratri. It’s one of the biggest festivals in Bengal. It’s about winning over darkness with light and evil with goodness. The time of year when Goddess Durga comes down from Kailash Parvat with her four children – goddess Lakshmi, goddess Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartik – to the earth. Families, friends, near and dear gather to celebrate the ten-day festival with their families, friends, and loved ones.
It is the first day of Durga Puja’s ten-day festival that Mahalaya officially marks. Bengali tradition dictates that at 4 in the morning, the radio begins playing Mahishashur Mardini, narrated by late radio broadcaster Birendra Krishna Bhadra. Early in the morning, Bengalis wake up, the neighbourhood echoes with Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s baritone, and the festivities officially begin. The Mahishashura Mardini is a poetic narrative laced with songs that trace the journey of Durga as she defeats Mahishashura and saves the gods and goddesses.