Auspicious 14 holds a very special place in hearts of every Bengali, apart from the special place this tradition also plays a very significant role during the time of Bhoot Chaturdashi. I shall explain the Bhoot Chaturdashi concept later. Auspicious 14 is observed with great faith and excitement. So get excited to explore all the Secerts Behind The Bengali Tradition Of Auspicious 14.
Bengali And Their Festivities
The people of Bengal are called as the Bengali. Bangalee another way to spell the Bengali. Earlier Bangladesh and West Bengal were the part of Bengal,however later after partition Bangladesh and West Bengal was divided. The language which is majorly spoken in Bengal is Bengali.After the Han Chinese and the Arabs the Bengali are the 3rd largest in the World among the ethnic group.
The Hindu in Bengal generally follow all the religious custom and rituals following under the Hinduism. Shakta and Vaishnava are the majorly followed tradition, however few also follow a combination of the two. There are small group following Shaiva and other traditions. A minor group are the people who follows no religion.Among the different caste in Hindus, Brahmoism are the highest in hierarchy and Bengali also fall under this category.
Apart from these traditions, Bengali have made many small section or groups which have established and followed.Few of such group are Ramakrishna Mission,ISKCON Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Anukul Thakur etc.
Festivals In Bengal
There are many festivals celebrated in Bengal such as
- the Durga puja, Diwali, Lakshmi Puja Saraswati Puja,Holi,Poila Boishak,Janmasthami, Vishwakarma Puja, Ganga Sagar Mela etc.
- Some tribal and other festival are Neel Shasti, Jhulon, Anapurna Puja etc and some other celebration are Jamai Shasthi are celebrated in Bengal.
- Bengali are said to have 13 festival in 12 month.This is said in irony as Bengali have too many reason to celebrate.
‘Baro Mash Tero Parbon’
‘Baro Mash Tero Parbon’ a very famous saying addressing the Bengali, which means in twelve month there are thirteen festivals. This is a irony as there are too many festivals celebrated in Bengal. In the 12 month Bengali celebrate more than 13 festivals and with all these festival comes many tradition rituals to follow.
There is no doubt that Bengali love to enjoy festivals and most no resident Bengali, try to be in Bengal during the festival season to enjoy the celebration.For Bengali too with festivals comes different tradition customs and rituals, all festival has it own value and mythology. Bengali celebrate all festival like a carnival,they rejoice all the season of festival. It is said that Bengali are the community which started the trend of community worship.Even though Bengali enjoy the festivals but they don’t ignore the custom and rituals.Although in the earlier time, the customs and rituals of a the religion practiced were very strict and orthodox. However, traditional rigidness has reduced with change in time. It has gradually become more flexible and incline towards reducing rituals, many have also moving towards philosophical and meditative practices. In today’s time of science and technology the practice of magic mantra or miracle in the name of religion is practices. The traditional faith is so within the Bengali culture that even with the advancement in time still the practice of old rituals are a part of every Bengali.
Bhoot Chaturdashi is a tradition followed on the night of Kali puja. Chaturdashi is the 14 nights during the moon cycle. This is the night before full moon and the night of Kali Puja. On this night the evil power is believed to be stronger. To avoid or overcome the evil power the Bhoot Chaturdashi ritual is practiced. This ritual is practiced every year on the night of Kali Puja. On this day Devi Kali is worshiped since mid night to early morning.
To overcome the negative energy 14 diya -earthen lamp are lighten all over the house. To bright up the positive energy over the negative energy at juncture of dusk and night.This custom is refered as Choddo Prodeep (14 diyas),where’ Choddo’ indicate fourteen and ‘Prodeep’ indicates diyas. The diyas are place on the entrance of each door in the house, to stop the evil to enter the house. As per the Mythology, the ancestors spirit comes to visit the house this night and these diyas show them the right path. They flow the light and without entering the house bless all the family with their blessing. In this way a homage is payed to the choddo purush — fourteen ancestors, seven from both side of the family — praying to them to protect everyone in the family from evil spirit and bhoot. Almost in all the Hindu celebration, prayer for the members of the family who are not within.Before starting any celebration.
Post Kali Puja performed in the night, later the next morning Choddo Saag ( 14 edible leaves) is cooked. As new crops grows in this season so the availability of saag is very fresh and these saag are first soak in water and this water is spread all over the house, again this is a form to believe of spreading positive energy in the house. To get these 14 saag any green edible leaf can be used and no particular method or process is there to cook this saag. One can cook it any style they want and this is eaten by all the member of the family in lunch to overcome the evil energy.
Nevertheless, modern logic says that during Autumn in Bengal the climate is quite different than the other states of India where many bacteria get highly activated, which affect our digestive systems specially the pancreas, hence having lots of Saags prevent us from getting affected by them. Having different types of green vegetables especially the 14 saags mentioned, not only keeps our digestive system healthy and active but also supply many of the invaluable vitamins and minerals which are not readily available in satisfactory quantities in other form of daily foods.
Auspicious 14 plays a very important part in the Bhoot Chaturdashi, it holds a very special place in hearts of Bengali and it is followed with great faith to this day.
Featured Photo by Soumyadeep Paul
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