Ferry Meadows will host an immersion procession at the end of the Durga Puja ceremony this weekend as part of the very first community Durga Puja (Dussera) Festival for Peterborough.

The Dussera festival is a major Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the victory of Lord Rama over the 10-headed demon-king Ravana. The Durga Puja Festival marks the triumph of the Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura and celebrates the strength of Durga. The Bengali Sanskriti Club Peterborough Dussera celebrations open on Friday 30th September with an inaugural ‘lighting of the lamp’ ceremony and cultural programme at the Millennium Centre in Peterborough. The Festival celebrations then continue throughout the weekend culminating in an immersion ceremony of the goddess Durga at Ferry Meadows on Sunday 2nd October.

The Festival is being organised by the Bengali Sanskriti Club Peterborough with support from Peterborough Presents, Metal and Nene Park Trust as part of the Heritage Lottery funded project Your Community Greenspace.

On the 2nd October at 3.30pm, a beautifully carved sculpture of the Goddess Durga will be transported in style on the back of a Nene Park Trust vehicle, leading a procession along Ham Lane and into the Park. The procession will continue past the Visitor Centre, arriving at Lynch Lake for the ceremonial anointing of the Goddess at the water’s edge. Members of the public are warmly welcome to come and watch or join in with the procession.

Lindsey Holmes, Project Manager for the Heritage Lottery funded project Your Community Greenspace at Nene Park Trust said, “We are excited to be a part of this celebration and look forward to seeing Nene Park at the centre of such an important event for the Hindu community in Peterborough.”

Anamika Ghosh, Founder of BSCP and Community Engagement Coordinator said, “I am extremely proud to be able to present a community celebration that has today been recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage event. Durga Puja is an emotion, it’s a nostalgia that weaves diverse memories for all of us. It encompasses all communities to come together and celebrate the Mother Goddess with the firm belief that the Goddess will destroy darkness. But what transcends even years of history and tradition is how this festival lives in the limits of imagination, beauty, camaraderie and a spectacular display of craftsmanship and artistry. It is a time when people from all walks of life leave their boundaries behind and celebrate together. What pervades the air is a boundless spirit of inclusion, festivity and revelry. The essence of Durga Puja lives on like a song and on this auspicious occasion, I am wishing you all happiness and prosperity”