Home / News / India /  Looking forward to a long weekend? This state is giving holiday for 11 days in October

Government offices in West Bengal will remain closed for a total of 11 days during Durga Puja, i.e. from Panchami (September 30) to Dashami (October 10), Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday declared while announcing several measures for the biggest festival in the state. Apart from this, CM also decided to increase the grant for the Durga Puja organising committees in the state from 50,000 to 60,000.

"The government holidays for Durga Puja will begin from September 30 to October 10. Last year, the Durga Puja committees received financial assistance of 50,000. This year the committees will get 60,000," said Mamata Banerjee. The state government started giving grants to the Durga Puja club in 2018. 

This year, the clubs will also get a concession on electricity charges of 60%, which was earlier 50%.

The 10-day festival marks the worship of Goddess Durga. Months before the festival, artisanal workshops in Kolkata sculpt idols of Durga and her children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) using unfired clay from the river bed of Ganga.

The significance of Durga Puja goes beyond religion and is revered as the celebration of compassion, brotherhood, humanity, art and culture.

UNESCO on December 15 inscribed "Durga Puja in Kolkata" on the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity".

"Congratulations! Durga puja is now inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! 14 ICH elements from India have been inscribed on this list by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage," UNESCO had tweeted.

Meanwhile, UNESCO Director Eric Falt along with his team will be visiting Kolkata next week for celebrations of Durga Puja after it was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list last December.

Speaking with ANI about his visit to Kolkata next week, the UNESCO Director said, "I will be visiting Kolkata together with my colleague next week together with my colleague from Paris... first we will have events here in New Delhi with central government and then we will move on to Kolkata and also we are going to Rajasthan... indeed in Kolkata we will be having celebrations of Durga Puja which was inscribed on the UNESCO cultural heritage representative last year."

"It is a wonderful celebration and I think India has many festivals and definitely it's one of the most important. You may know also that India has nominated Garba to be inscribed in 2022 -- the next meeting of the UNESCO will take place in November," he added.


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