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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bengal's Vishwakarma Puja - An article by Jawhar Sircar



Bengal's Vishwakarma puja is the only one that is celebrated every year on one fixed date of the English or Gregorian solar calendar: the 17th of September. This is rather strange, as artisans and industrial workers all over the northern and western states of India worship their tools on a lunar date, Goverdhan Puja day, the day just after Diwali. In the south, however, they do the same along with their Saraswati puja called Ayudha pujan, which is invariability on our Maha-Navami day. Bengalis are different not only in choosing a special day for their god of tools, but in also deciding to fly kites on this day whereas all over India, the day reserved for kite-flying is several months away, on Pous Sankranti, when millions come out with their kites and several national and international competitions are held. The cold breeze in mid-January that others love so much could be one reason why Bengalis stay away from rooftops. After all, Bengali children are constantly taught to tie thick mufflers over their ears and also tightly around our necks as soon as the temperature drops below
twenty degrees celsius. Let us also not forget that Bengalis love to be different from other states, whether in their political choices on the ground or in flying kites in the skies. But why was this date and deity chosen?................


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