Extending her greetings to the people on Chhath Puja, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said her government declares a two-day holiday for the festival every year in the state, which even the Centre does not offer.
While the first holiday was observed on Saturday, the second one will be on Monday.
Addressing a gathering while attending a Chhath Puja at Kolkata’s Takhta Ghat on Sunday, Banerjee said, “We in Bengal have a tradition to celebrate (festivals) together. We eat together, chat together and this cannot be found anywhere else. We must respect all religions. Chhath is also our festival. Our government has declared holidays for two days, but Delhi (central government) does not,” she said. “Our government gives two days’ holiday for Eid, Chhath, other pujas and Kali Puja as well,” she added.
She said that Bengalis eagerly wait for ‘thekuas’ (sweet cookies) offered as ‘prasadi’ as part of Chhath festivities. “You make prasadi after your puja, which you give to us. We wait eagerly for your thekuas. We worship the Sun everyday. Wish you all a happy and prosperous Chhath puja for your society,” the CM added.
Banerjee also advised the people to celebrate the festival at the ghats with caution to avoid any untoward incident.
“Visit the Ganga ghat cautiously for puja. Do not take children there. Ask their fathers to take care of them at that time. Our police and volunteers will be there throughout the night to take care of you,” the CM said.