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Charak Puja is an important day on the Hindu calendar, when followers worship their deity - Lord Shiva - and welcome in the new year. People believe that the festival, popular in parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, will carry prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the year before. Although the festival takes place each year on April 14, which is the last day of the Bengali calendar, preparations start around one month before. Worshippers, who believe they are blessed and protected by the Lord as they perform a dance, walk on hot embers and pierce their body with iron rods, known as a 'trishul', to show their devotion.
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||Nov. 3, 2016, 2:19 p.m.