Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, ended on Saturday with the immersion of Goddess Durga idols across the country.
Devotees with tearful eyes said farewell to the mother deity and her children - Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh - through the immersion of their idols in the water while wishing Durga's return next year.
The five-day festival started on September 26 with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga marking Sashthi.
Devotees thronged puja mandaps to celebrate Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the festival, and recited mantras, offered flowers to the goddess Durga (pushpanjali) and prayed for her blessings.
Each of the mandaps across the country was ornamented with beautiful idols, showcasing the goddess in all her glory.
Bijoya Dashami is the special ceremony for reaffirming peace and good relations among people.
Families visited each other to share sweetmeats. Married Hindu women put vermilion on each other's forehead on the occasion.
The number of puja mandaps has increased this year to 29,395, including 231 in Dhaka city.
As many as 1,767 puja mandaps were set up in Chittagong while there were 1,242 in Dinajpur, 1,175 in Gopalganj, 737 in Faridpur, 752 in Comilla, 606 in Bagerhat, 126 in Chapainawabganj, 629 in Magura, 519 in Brahmanbaria, 647 in Jessore and 26 in Benapole.
Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival which is also known as Sharadiya (autumnal) Durga Utsav, is the worship of “Shakti” [divine force] embodied in the Goddess Durga.
It symbolises the battle between good and evil, where dark forces eventually succumb to the divine.