The temples will remain closed on 1 June and decision about the rest of the Tuesdays will be announced later.
Following last year's pattern, the trustees of Hanuman temples across Lucknow have decided not to organize festivities on Bada Mangal, a festival exclusive to the state capital. This decision has been taken with a motive to discourage large public gatherings which can worsen the ongoing wave of the pandemic. However, devotees who wish to join the puja organized by various temples, can witness the live-streaming of it.
Bada Mangal gathering on 1 June cancelled
Following the necessary COVID protocols during the second wave of the pandemic, the annual festival of Bada Mangal has been cancelled. Exclusive to Lucknow, this festival is held on all Tuesdays in the 'Jyesth' month of the Hindu calendar. However, devotees can join the aarti organised by several temples through live-streaming.
In 2021, there are four auspicious days on which Bada Mangal will be celebrated and the dates of these Tuesdays are- June 1, June 8, June 15 and June 22. While the temples will definitely remain closed on 1 June, a decision about the rest of the Tuesdays will be announced at a later day, by the temple administrations.
Overview of the Bada Mangal festival
Believed to be an almost 400-year-old festival, several interesting anecdotes are attached to this celebration. Some historians claim that Aliya Begum, after being blessed with a son, insisted on building the Hanuman Temple in Aliganj. Complying with her request, the temple was constructed by Nawab Saadat Ali Khan in 1798 and the tradition of this festivity began since then.
Before the pandemic, over 9000 Hanuman temples dotting the landscape of Lucknow, would open their doors at midnight for devotees on Bada Mangal. Apart from offering prayers on this festival, devotees set up large community kitchens called bhandaras across the city, to distribute food and water to everyone.
The traditions of Bada Mangal have continued till now, well after the reign of the last Nawab of Awadh. Attracting people from all walks of life, the festivities of Bada Mangal are a true reflection of the existing harmony among the different communities of Lucknow. It teaches us the delicate art of sharing and it is a substantial step towards making our world a better place.
-With inputs from IANS