Like, one year, the centuries-old tradition of men worshipping the Goddess as priests was usurped when a band of priestesses took over. This year, another puja committee broke through the set norms of men welcoming the Goddess to her home.
The Durga pratima, or idol, entered the pandals of Kolkata’s Pally Yuvak Brinda led by a group of women holding up mashaals, or massive torches, setting a new trend.
Women, draped in sarees and holding up the mashaals, welcomed Maa Durga home to the beats of the dhaak and the smell of dhunuchi – the burning of coconut husk and incense.
In videos, some were seen performing the dhunuchi naach – dancing with an earthen pot of burning coconut husk and incense, as they took over another custom that had managed to keep the women out for so long.