- By Rohit
- Dec 20, 2019
Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival, celebrated to honor the goddess Durga. It is the ten-day celebration in the month of “Ashvina” (September -October) according to the Hindu Calendar. It is particularly celebrated in Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar and other eastern parts of Indian States. It is the main festival of Bengal. Bengali Communities across the globe celebrate this festival with zeal and passion. It is celebrated as the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. It begins on the same day as Navaratri starts.
Mahalaya is the first day of Durga Puja. The main puja starts from the sixth day which is known as “Shashthi” and followed by Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijoy Dashami. Bijoy Dashami, the tenth day of the puja celebrated as victory day and people dance on drumbeats, chants, exchange greetings and well wishes from each other and then immerse the goddess idol in the river to say her goodbye with feeling that she will come again next year and this time going to live with his husband Lord Shiva at Mount Kailash.
This festival is celebrated to worship the power of divine feminism. It is the victory of truth over evil. During the festival of Durga Puja, a different form of the goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati is worshiped in the pandals. The idol of Goddess Durga is made of clay and decorated beautifully. The idol consists of a goddess sitting on the lion and attacking the demon Mahishasura. Idol making starts several months ago. The Beautiful idol is installed in pandal and then to invoke the life in deity the priest chant mantras. After that, the celebration gets started. In the evening the Sandhya aarti performed to worship the goddess with the drumbeat.
This festival is to reunite with family members and friends. It is the favorable carnival of Bengalis and the eastern state of India to come home for the celebration. Surroundings get filled with festivity and enjoyment during this time. Pandal hopping is the main thing to do during this festival. The pandals are beautifully decorated with different types of flowers, lights, rangoli, decorative items, and pot clays. The pandal each year get decorated with different themes. There is a competition also between pandals. People do pandal hopping to seek the blessing of the goddess and soak themselves in tradition and culture.
Durga Puja is the main festival of Bengali Communities. It is the best time to explore the Bengal to know the rich heritage of these communities.
During this puja, you can also explore the cuisine of Bengal. Biryani, korma, rosogulla, Sandesh, street foods, homemade fitters, baked and many more you can enjoy with lots of gossips. This puja has become much like a five-day open-air food festival. Do not forget to dress up traditionally to rejoice the tradition. Ladies wore off white or white saree with a red border and males wear mulmul kurta with dhoti or payjama.
Every day the puja starts with a series of rituals at the pandal. People offer flowers and water in hand to the goddess with chanting mantra which is known as Pushpanajali. Then the Bhog is offered to the goddess in the afternoon. The food which is offered as Bhog is served to visitors and devotees. In the evening the aarti is done on the best of Dhaak (drum). People perform the dance keeping the small lamp (made of clay) in their hand in the front of the idol of the goddess.
On the last of the puja, Goddess is worshiped. And then ladies play sindoor Khela (vermillion game). In this, ladies first wipe the idol’s face with betel leaves to clear the tears and then apply the vermillion to the goddess and then to each other. They offer sweets to the goddess and greet each other by giving sweets. It is believed that ladies are the protector of the house so this game is played.
The Bhog in Durga puja is delicious and vegetarian without onion and garlic. The main items in Bhog are khichuri, misthi pulao, mixed vegetables, payees, yogurt and many much loved Bengali foods. It an internal part of the puja. In some pandals, during this puja, some communities also serve fish on Maha Nabami and Maha Dasami
The Best Ten Famous Kolkata Durga Puja Pandals :
- Ekdalia Evergreen
- Kumartuli Park
- College Square
- Mohammad Ali Park
- Suruchi Sangha
- Santosh Mitra Square
- Bose Pukur Sitala Mandir
- Jodhpur park
- Badamtala Ashar Sangha