Kolkata’s Durga Puja celebrations



Beautiful Chaos at Kolkata’s Durga Puja – The Atlantic Cities – with photos of structures created for festival celebrations in the Indian city of Kolkata.  Image credit:  Michael Snyder

 Over the course of two hot, humid months at the tail end of the monsoon season, 20,000 new structures come up around the city for the pujas, celebrated over five days in September or October, depending on the lunar Hindu calendar. Each structure houses an enormous image of the 10-armed goddess Durga riding her lion and slaying the demon Mahishasura, and flanked by her four divine children: Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Karthik.  …

In a city notorious for overpopulation and poverty, the massive budgets and dramatic influx of people might seem insane. Yet this money also helps sustain local craftsmen and artists, crucial to the identity of a city that maintains its traditions of culture, intellectualism and gentility even as its political and economic significance has declined.

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