Goans celebrate Diwali by burning effigies of demon Narakasur; CM Sawant appeals for pollution-free festival


PTI, Oct 24, 2022, 1:07 PM IST

Image Credit: ANI

Panaji: Residents of Goa celebrated Diwali by burning huge effigies of demon Narakasur in the early hours of Monday as a long held tradition on the festival, marking the victory of good over evil.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant greeted people on the occasion of Diwali and expressed hope that the festival will bring peace, joy and prosperity to the state.

He also appealed to citizens to have a pollution-free celebration and reach out to the underprivileged people and share the happiness of Diwali with them.

The ‘Narakasur Vadh’ (killing of the demon) competitions began in state capital Panaji and cities like Margao and Vasco at night and continued till early Monday morning.

More than 20 groups participated in each competition. Hundreds of Narakasur effigies, which were prepared ahead of the festival, were burnt to celebrate the victory of good over evil.

Giant effigies were ferried from various villages to the competition venues on trucks. A chariot carrying a boy dressed as Lord Krishna accompanied every effigy.

During the competition, the participants had to demonstrate how Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killed Narakasur in a battle.

“Prizes were given to those who best played the role of Lord Krishna,” said Manoj Hede, a core committee member of local organisation ‘Solid Party’, which has been conducting the Narakasur Vadh competition in Margao for more than two decades.

More than 20,000 people came to watch a similar competition organised by another local organisation in Fatorda suburb of Margao.

After the events at various places, personnel from the fire and emergency services were seen dousing the flames from the materials leftover after the burning of effigies on roadsides.

CM Sawant in his message said Diwali symbolises the victory of righteousness over evil, brightness over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and truth over falsity.

“The illumination on the day marks the joy, happiness on the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. This festival of light inspires all to move from darkness to light. Let us all walk on the path of light and become self reliant, that is Swayampurna, in true sense,” he said.

Sawant appealed to citizens to have a safe and eco-friendly Diwali.

“This year, let us think about our environment that gets affected due to the excessive bursting of fireworks. Let us have a pollution-free Diwali celebration,” the CM said.

He said Diwali is the festival of sharing happiness and strengthening brotherhood relationship in the state. “This Diwali let’s take charge and reach out to the underprivileged people. Let us adopt the poor and deprived ones by sharing the happiness of Diwali with them,” he said.

“Our state is progressing rapidly. Let us all together spread the light of development to take Goa forward. May everyone uphold true spirit and defeat all the negativities in lives, to maintain social harmony,” he added.

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