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Rediff.com  » News » Some in Bihar buy owls instead of gold to mark Dhanteras

Some in Bihar buy owls instead of gold to mark Dhanteras

October 25, 2011 00:57 IST

The festival of Dhanteras, a precursor to Diwali, was celebrated with a 'difference' in a rural pocket in Bihar where people purchased owls -- a symbol prosperity and wealth, instead of the common ritual of buying gold, silver and metal.

"Owls are selling like hot cakes in Hajipur (in Vaishali district) as people worship the bird, believed to be vehicle of Goddess of wealth -- Laxmi -- for prosperity and well being," Suresh Rai, a government employee, who along with his friend Ravinder Paswan, purchased an owl on Monday, said.

In Hajipur, men and women in large numbers prefer to purchase owls, unlike people in bigger cities, who go for shopping of gold, silver and metal on Dhanteras day.

"For us, it is an age-old tradition to purchase owls from makeshift stalls at various ghats in Hajipur," Ranjit Singh, a small-time trader, said.

According to believers, owls are awe-inspiring. They are said to be harbingers of fortune and prosperity in Hindu mythology.

Interestingly, bird catchers made brisk business on Monday, despite skyrocketing prices by selling hundreds of owls -- an endangered species.

Meanwhile, in other parts of Bihar, particularly in capital Patna, people were busy purchasing gold, silver, brass untensils and electronic gadgets on to mark Dhanters.

M I Khan in Patna