Durga Pujo: A Celebration of Divine Femininity and Cultural Extravaganza

Feelings. Homecoming. Togetherness. Durga Puja is associated with all of these things and more for Bengalis. It is the most anticipated holiday of the year and is much more than a simple religious carnival. This colourful festival is a great celebration of the goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura and is mostly observed in West Bengal, India, but is also observed by Bengali people around the world. We will examine the significance, customs, and cultural facets of Durga Pujo in this blog.

Ten days of fasting, feasting, and Durga worship make up the full Durga Puja season. But the most significant portion of the holiday is the final five days. The following events are observed:

Shasthi – 2 Kartik 1430 (October 20, 2023 – Friday) is the Durga Puja day”Amantran,” and “Adhibas” at 8:31 in the morning. Shasthi marks the arrival of Goddess Durga and her four children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya, and Ganesh on our planet. On this day, the handcrafted, multicolour goddess statues that have been placed for the festival are presented.

Saptami – 3 Kartik 1430 (October 21, 2023 – Saturday) The “Nabo Patrika” of Durga Devi, the “Kola Bou” bathing, “Saptami Puja,” which takes place between 7:05 and 9:28 am, and the “Durga Puja” at midnight, which takes place between 10:58 and 11:46 pm. The divine presence of Goddess Durga is summoned into the idols on Saptami, the first day of Durga Puja, at a ceremony known as Pran Pratisthan

Ashtami – 4 Kartik 1430 (October 22, 2023 – Sunday) Ashtami Puja occurs before 9:28 am. Bolidan – after 5:18pm, Sandhi Puja is conducted between 4:54pm – 5:42pm.

During Kumari Puja, the goddess is adored as a young, unmarried young lady dressed as Goddess Durga. The significant Sandhi Puja, which is conducted in the evening, honours Goddess Durga in her Chamunda avatar, who during her conflict with the buffalo monster Mahishasura killed Chanda and Munda. 

Durga Puja: Navami – 5 Kartik 1430 (October 23, 2023 – Monday) Navami Puja between 7:06 and 8:31 and 9:28 in the morning. The final day of devotion, known as Navami, is marked with a maha aarti (large fire ceremony) to signify the conclusion of the rites and prayers. On this day, Goddess Durga, who is revered as Mahisasuramardini, Everyone wears their finest, most glitzy attire. The goddess’ preferred bhog (meal) is made, offered to her, and then given to followers.

Dashami – 6 Kartik 1430 (October 24, 2023 – Tuesday) Dashami Puja are held between 7:06 and 9:28.

Goddess Durga returns to her husband’s home on Dashami, which is also the day the statues are taken away for immersion. Folks pay visits to their loved ones and friends to bless them. Elaborate dinners are shared along with sweets. The day’s attire is conventional and traditional.

During the five days, intricate temporary shrines, referred to as “pandals,” are built to hold the idols. Each of these pandals aspires to outshine the others in terms of innovation and aesthetic expression, with a wide range of variation in size, design, and topic. It is open to visitors to take in the craftsmanship and artistic skill on show. The Bengali culture is honored during Durga Pujo, which is more than just a religious feast. The Dhunuchi Naach, in which devotees dance while holding incense pots, is one of the most well-known traditional dances.

On the final day, married ladies take part in the custom of Sindoor Khela, in which they mark each other’s foreheads with vermilion and the idol of the goddess. This represents the enjoyment of married life and the ties of sisterhood.