Goans burn ‘Narakasur’ effigies to celebrate Deepavali; CM Sawant asks people to buy local products

Goans burn ‘Narakasur’ effigies to celebrate Deepavali; CM Sawant asks people to buy local products

Representational file image.

Representational file image.

People of Goa burnt giant effigies of demon ‘Narakasura’ in the early hours of November 12 to begin Diwali celebration, while Chief Minister Pramod Sawant extended greetings to the people and urged them to buy local products to celebrate the festival.

Goa has a long held tradition of making the effigies of Narakasura and burning them on Deepavali, marking the victory of good over evil.

The ‘Narakasur Vadh’ (killing of the demon) competitions were held across the coastal State to celebrate the festival.

“It symbolises the victory of good over evil. An artiste dressed as Lord Krishna performs Narakasura Vadh in the early morning hours. This is how we celebrate Diwali,” said Panaji-based historian Sanjeev Sardesai.

The tradition of performing ‘Narakasura Vadh’ existed even during the Portuguese rule in the State but remained subdued due to restrictions on religious freedom, he said.

After liberation from the Portuguese rule, this tradition has been followed by the young generation of Goa, he added.

People across the State put up traditional ‘akashkandils’ [lanterns] at the entrance of their houses to mark Diwali.

CM Sawant extended greetings on the festival and wished that the “lights of Diwali may illuminate people’s mind and heart with the spirit of oneness in the State.” In his Deepavali message, the CM said , “The festival of Diwali inspires people to conquer evils, by building a society in which peace and communal harmony would prevail.” “The illumination on the day reminds us about the high ideals of Lord Rama, who returned to Ayodhya on this day, after 14 years of banishment and victory over Lanka after defeating Ravana,” he said.

“Removing the darkness of ignorance and leading towards the light of knowledge is the inspiration behind celebrating Diwali,” he said.

Mr. Sawant said Goa is progressing rapidly with development being taken across the length and breadth of the State.

“People of Goa have marched in the direction of good governance. Let us stress more to buy local products to celebrate the festival, so as to support the home-grown manufacturers in the true spirit of Swayampurna Goa, giving importance to ‘Vocal for Local’ in the state,” Mr. Sawant said.

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