IWExpo96, India, Durga Puja; Day 1, Saptami, pt 1
Emerging from the Ganges
In the pale light of dawn, as drummers play,
a priest holds a plaintain tree aloft before a crowd
on the silty mud banks of the Ganges.
Here, at Kola Bow at Airitolla Ghat,
the small tree is carefully immersed in the waters, and thereby
ritually made pure.
Thus begins Saptami and with it the ceremonial cycle of
the Durga Puja has officially commenced. The tree, having
been bathed, it is now dressed. The trunk and leaves are carefully
wrapped in a faintly golden silk trimmed in deep red.
Next, Saptami Procession
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