Maa Kali is the goddess who is the symbol of power (Sakti). Kali Puja honours her and this day is celebrated all over India.
This festival is also know as Diwali or the Festival of Light. For this occasion we all try to decorate our houses with colorful lights and candles. The symbolic meaning of this day is that we are lighting up our hearts with the good and removing the bad, which brings darkness to our hearts.
In Purulia, Bankura and Midnapur Districts the Kudmi people celebrate this festival as Bandna Festival. This festival honours our domestic animals, especially the cow, bull and buffalo. The bull is important to our cultivation, the cows provide us with milk and the buffalo are a beast of burden. So we show them our gratitude on this day. We clean the cattle with mud and cow dung and paint traditional drawings on the ground. After that we clean all the animals, washing their feet with oil and putting a crown made out of paddy on their heads.
This festival lasts six day. On the last day we play a game with the bulls called “Garu Khuta”. There is a myth which lies behind this festival. The Lord Shiva is also called Pashupati, which means King of all animals. At a particular point in time he came to earth in order to find out whether animals were being treated well. For this reason we give special treatment to all our domestic animals, adorning the cattle and our houses for the occasion.
In the period between these Puja, the Bengali people also celebrate Bhai Fota, which honours the special relationship that exists between between sisters and brothers. On this occasion a sister will wish long life to her brothers and her brothers in turn will promise to take care of her.
Our school started again last Monday. At last! This time, which is full of holidays and festivals, starts every year at the beginning of the month of October and will still go on until the middle of November. Because of this life for all of us has lost its normal rhythm. It will take a while to get back into the flow.