All roads lead to cracker stalls as Diwali preparation in full swing

Bhubaneswar: Preparations for Diwali celebrations tomorrow are in full swing with people of the State flocking crackers shops to buy diyas, crackers and candles today.

People were also seen buying sweets to celebrate the festival of lights.

Following the Supreme Court’s directive, crackers shop are only allowed in open spaces.

Ashok Kumar Sahu, a crackers trader in Bhubaneswar, said, “After the restrictions on opening up of cracker shops, many traders have come to the ground to set up stalls here. However, the business is yet to take off.”

On the other hand, due to campaign on social media against China-made crackers, there is a scarcity of cheaper crackers at the stalls.

Bhagban Nath, a customer, stated, “As the China-made products are not available, price other crackers has steeply gone up.”

Meanwhile, Kali puja began today with religious fervour across the State. A total of 49 mandaps were crowded with devotees and visitors in Bhadrak. Rituals of the goddess are performed amid the conch blow and clinking of cymbals.

Similarly, a special ritual at the peetha of Maa Bhadrakali in Bhadrak was performed. Besides, a ‘Sapatachandi Mahayagna’ was organised from today and will continue for seven days.

A female devotee at the peetha said, “Usually we see an angry Kali goddess at the puja mandaps. But, at the peetha, sober Goddess Kali carrying Lord Krishna in her laps is being worshipped giving us the utmost joy.”

A priest at the peetha said, “Due to the ‘Yajna’ rainfall occurs bringing cheer among human beings and the animal and plant kingdoms.”

In Cuttack, more than 60 mandaps including 20 places where the goddess Kali is decorated with gold and silver jewellery have been set up.

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In Sambalpur, the Kalibadi Puja Committee is celebrating 100 years of its existence and has made special arrangements to celebrate the occasion.

Jayabrata Dey, the adviser to the Kalibadi Puja Committee  said, “Since 1916 a ‘Managala Natak’ has been organised after the Kali puja.”

He further stated, “The land on which this mandap has been set up was bought out of the amount collected through entry fees from the natak, adding that the mandap every year becomes a congregation point for different cultures, languages and societies in Sambalpur.