Kolkata, Sept 26 (ANI): Devotees celebrated on Saturday the Maha Ashtami festival of Goddess Durga, to mark the eighth and the most auspicious of the nine-day Navaratri festival.
The day is considered significant as life is "breathed" into the idol of Durga by priests who perform elaborate rituals amidst chanting of religious verses.
"Today is Mahaashtami. All gods collectively created Goddess Durga when they were attacked by demons. Durga killed most of the demons on the day of Ashtami. That's why this is the main puja," said Sisir Bhattacharya, a priest.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee offered prayers at his family temple at Mirthi in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
He has been worshipping here during Durga Puja for the past 20 years.
Goddess Durga is worshipped all over the country in different forms. The festival is called Durga Puja in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, while in the rest of the country, it is known as Dussehra and Navaratri.
Goddess Durga is depicted as a powerful goddess, riding a raging lion, holding aloft ten weapons of war in her ten hands.
Her trident is depicted plunging into the side of a monstrous buffalo, out of whose body emerges a demon symbolising evil. (ANI)