Durga Puja is the most awaited puja and is celebrated grandly across many states of India. It is a five-day celebration for Bengalis and Odiyas as this is the time to welcome Goddess Durga to their homes after her victory with great happiness and enthusiasm. In many abroad cities, especially where Bengalis reside, they ensure to celebrate Durga Puja remarkably. Durga Puja this year has begun on Sunday, 14th October [Panchami] and continues till Friday, 19th October [Vijaya Dashami].
Durga Puja is rejoiced for honouring Goddess Durga and her magnificent victory over evil. As per the myth, when the male Gods failed to overthrow the buffalo demon, Mahishasura, they commended Goddess Durga to put an end to such cruel evilness he created on earth. Hence, Goddess Durga after days of battle; defeats Mahishasura and earns the name of Mahishasura Mardini by the other Gods. Then She returns home by boat with victory; hence She is offered prayers by her devotees.
The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated for ten days in West Bengal, specifically in Kolkata. The pandals are created grandly with different kinds of themes along with big idols of Goddess Durga that are open for the visitors. In Kolkata, Durga Puja has begun with Durga Mahalaya on 9th October. Durga Puja also rejoices in Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune), Bihar, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi cities. Every pandal is unique in itself and decorated amazingly.
Even Goddess Durga looks at her best, as she is accompanied by her children, Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi placed on one side, and Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kartik on the other side of her. Various themes crafted as a background are eye-catchy and wonderful. On Panchami, Goddess Durga’s face is revealed with pujas held on Shasthi, Saptami, MahaAshtami, Maha Nabami and finally the Dashami when she is bid goodbye as she prepares to return back to her own home with her children.
Durga Puja Dates/Days
- Sunday, 14th October: Panchami
- Monday, 15th October: Shashti
- Tuesday, 16th October: Saptami
- Wednesday, 17th October: Maha Asthami
- Thursday, 18th October: Maha Navami
- Friday, 19th October: Dashami
Durga Puja Arrangements from 15th October to 19th October
- Shasthi Puja [Monday, 15th October]
Puja starts at 7 am; completes by 9 am
Evening- Adhibash and Amantranstarts at 5.45 pm.
- Maha Saptami [Tuesday, 16th October]
Puja starts at 7 am; ends by 10.32 am.
Nabapatrike Praabesh at 9.28 am.
Evening Puja at 5.45 pm.
Cultural program at 7.30 pm.
- Maha Ashtami [Wednesday, 17th October]
Puja starts at 6 am; Anjali puja at 9.30 am.
Kumari Puja at 10.20 am.
Sandhipuja begins at 12.03 am and ends at 12.52 pm.
Evening puja at 5.45 pm.
The cultural program starts at 7.30 pm.
- Maha Navami Puja [Thursday, 18th October]
Puja begins at 8 am.
Evening puja at 6 pm.
Music and Cultural program in the evening.
- Bijaya Dashami [Friday, 19th October]
Puja begins at 8 am and ends y 8.31 am due to bar bela.
Sindoor khela (exchange) at 4 pm.
Bisarjan begins at 5.50 pm. (this time may vary)
Durga Puja Pandals and Decorations
The pandals are gorgeously decorated, each beautified with a theme. The background theme, and Goddess Durga and her family looks unique with every pandal. Few pandals are adorning historical ear designs, whereas some pandals are keeping the theme of important social causes for spreading awareness. The pandals in the evening are lit brightly with hundreds of colourful lights and people throng towards them with their friends and families.
Dressing for Durga Puja occasion
Every person who waits for Durga Puja occasion eagerly does their puja shopping. There are new collections available in the market for Durga Puja. Many Bengali and Odiya women and girls are seen in beautiful sarees visiting pandals, whereas other girls wear colourful suits, lehengas, gowns, etc to see Durga Puja of various pandals. Men prefer wearing kurta-pyjama, jeans-shirt; while children also look good in their new dresses.
Tasty foods are the major feature of the Durga Puja pandals. One can relish Bengali fast foods, snacks and sweet dishes, and Bengali cuisines available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Durga Puja special-themed Bhog meals that are offered to Goddess Durga are distributed to the people after puja in small quantity. Kitchen are basically closed for Bengalis, as they love enjoying the whole day in the pandal and eat delicacies over there.
The four-days from Shasthi to Navami evening exhibits Bengali cultural programs including skits, plays and dances related to Durga Ma at their pandals. Even bands come from Kolkata to different cities where Durga Puja is arranged to make the evening happening for the people, to enjoy and have fun. In Odisha, Odiya cultural programs are held including melodies and plays and dances.
Well, both locals and tourists hop from one pandal to the other in their cities to witness the beautiful Durga Puja pandals, offer their prayers whole-heartedly, participate in programs organized by clubs, gossip with their friends, eat at various stalls and rejoice in the celebrations for Panchami to Dashami days!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Durga Puja!
Follow me as @SanghamitraRch on Twitter.
Latest posts by Sanghamitra Roychoudhary (see all)
A proficient Web Content Developer (Technical and Non-Technical Writer), Blogger, and Freelance Content Writer. A happy author of www.w3buzz.in! She is a creative person, always eager to learn new aspects, and seeking new ways for improving skills in her field. She loves traveling & photography; also, a sports enthusiast!
Follow me as @SanghamitraRch on Twitter.