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Devotees bid adieu to Durga in West Bengal


Five-days of celebrations of Durga Puja finally ended as West Bengal bid a tearful adieu to the goddess and her children Sunday, marking another yearlong wait for her autumnal homecoming.

However, the frenzied immersion ceremony of the idols of Durga, complete with elaborate processions, dance, beating of drums and lusty cheers by youngsters, saw Bengal making most of the carnival. In keeping with the customs, the idols of Goddess Durga along with those of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya - the four children of the goddess - were immersed with much fanfare, after the womenfolk smeared the deities with vermilion.

Special pujas were held as the day progressed. Married women prayed for the well-being of their families. Sweets were distributed as friends and relatives wished 'Shubho Bijoya' (Happy Bijoya Dasami) to each other.

Idols in some of the old households of north Kolkata, which observe the pujas in the traditional way, were immersed early while big budget community pujas of Kolkata often choose to immerse the idols a day or two later. Besides Muslims in Tripura

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