With Kolkata’s Durga Puja getting the UNESCO’s cultural heritage tag, the West Bengal government on Thursday will organise a mega rally and felicitate a delegate of UNESCO at Red Road.
“Kolkata’s Durga Puja has been accorded the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage Tag’ by UNESCO, which is a proud moment for all of us. In order to celebrate the honour bestowed on our Durga Puja, we have organised a mega rally on September 1. Our Durga Utsav, this year, is starting a month ahead. We will all get together and thank UNESCO. Everyone is invited to be part of the rally, which will begin at 2 pm from Jorasanko Thakurbari,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday.
“People of all religion, caste, creed will be part of the event. We will all get together and celebrate as one, because I believe, religion is personal, but festivals are for all,” she added.
According to sources in the government, the rally will have colourful tableaux with traditional conch sound and folk dance. Many puja committees are expected to take part in the rally.
The traffic will be closed on many roads of central Kolkata like Bhupen Bose avenue, Central Avenue, Vivekananda Road, MG Road, BB Ganguly Street, SN Banerjee Road, Lenin Sarani, Mayo Road, Outram Road, RR avenue, JL Nehru Road, Duffrin Road, Hospital Road, Kidderpore Road, Esplanade Row, Esplanade Ramp. “For all those who have difficulty walking, we have made seating arrangements too. We will not just thank UNESCO, we will also thank the people of Bengal, the Durga Puja committees, the idol makers, and everyone else. Tomorrow’s festivities will be held across the state,” the chief minister said.
A year ago, UNESCO had accorded the “Intangible Cultural Heritage” tag to Kolkata’s Durga Puja, noting, “Durga Puja is seen as the best instance of the public performance of religion and art, and as a thriving ground for collaborative artists and designers. The festival is characterized by large-scale installations and pavilions in urban areas, as well as by traditional Bengali drumming and veneration of the goddess. During the event, the divides of class, religion and ethnicities collapse as crowds of spectators walk around to admire the installations.”