Guwahati (Assam), Oct 26 : Vijayadashami is one of the most significant festivals celebrated with full fervour and enthusiasm in Assam and entire North East . The festival marks the end of the five day Durga Puja festivities.
Amid strict restrictions in wake of Covid -19 pandemic ,this years immersion was confined to in two major ghats – Kachamari Ghat in Fancy Bazar and the Pandu Ghat. Three more ghats have been assigned for immersion – Saukuchi, Chunsali at Noonmati, and Basistha.
From 10 am this morning till the completion of the immersion process vehicles are carrying the image of Goddess Durga for immersion In Guwahati .
This year, Hindus in North India celebrated Vijayadashami on Sunday, Oct 25,. However, in North East Vijaya Dashami was observed today .
Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis and Vijaya Dashami is the last day of the festival when Goddess Durga is bid adieu for a year. However, on the day of Dussehra or Vijayadashami, after ‘ghat visarjan’ (a symbolic immersion of Durga declaring the end of the Puja rituals).
Sindoor Khela literally means ‘vermillion game’.
Women first perform Devi Baran, where the married women bid farewell to the goddess. After that one by one perform arati and apply sindoor on the forehead and feet of the Goddess. Once Devi Baran is done, they apply sindoor on each other’s forehead followed by shankha, pola and noa (three bangles, made of conch shells, coral and iron, respectively, that signify Bengali women’s marital status). After that, women playfully and carefully smear sindoor on each other faces. At last, they finally offer sweets to each other as prasad.
As part of the ritual, on this day Bengali women usually dressed in white saris with red borders. The origin of this ritual is unknown. But, traditionally, Sindoor Khela is meant for married women who follow a set custom and protocol while playing Sindoor Khela. It is believing Sindoor Khela symbolises the power of womanhood this will bring good luck for them and long life for their husbands.
However, nowadays the ritual of Sindoor Khela has become more inclusive. Unmarried women, widows and men also bathe themselves in the festivity like the festival of Holi.