Indian Festival | Hindu Festival | Durga Puja (2016)
Durga Puja Date (2016)
Durga Pooja festival this year is from 7 October to 11 October 2016.
Celebration Of Durga Pooja
Durga Puja (pooja) is a festival that celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahisasura, this victory in essence being the victory of good over evil.
It is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated in a big way in the Eastern and Northeastern states of India like West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Apart from this, durga pooja festival is also widely celebrated in the Western, Central and Southern states of India. Also celebrated in a major way in Bangladesh, Nepal and around the world where Bengali population resides.
Durga Pooja is also known as Sharadotsava or Durgotsava and Navratri Puja. It is one of the major festivals of India.
Goddess Durga Killing The Demon King Mahisasur
About Durga Pooja Festival
Durga Pooja is celebrated over a period of 6 days with the first day being known as :
And each succeeding day being known as
- Maha Saptami
- Maha Ashtami
- Maha Navami
- Vijaya Dashmi
Durga pooja is celebrated in different states following different traditions and rituals. It is usually celebrated in the month of September or October every year.
Goddess Durga often called Shakti meaning power is worshipped during this festival.
Durga Pooja Pandal
The Legend Behind Durga Pooja
According to the legend, Mahisasura was a powerful demon king also sometimes referred to buffalo demon. Happy with Mahisasura's great worship and prayers Lord Brahma granted him a boon that he could not be defeated or killed by any power. Swollen with pride and haughtiness, the demon king started killing people and eventually turned his wrath onto the Gods.
Wanting to put an end to Mahisasura's rampage and killings, the Gods combined their powers to give birth to Goddess Durga who had ten arms with a weapon in each, the most potent weapon belonging to each God. As a vehicle, she rode a lion.
Armed with so much power or Shakti, Goddess Durga defeated and killed the demon king Mahisasura.and restored heaven to the Gods.
It is believed Goddess Durga visits the Earth this time each year and returns to Mount Kailash on the last day that is on Vijaya Dashmi day.
Lighting During Durga Pooja
Durga Pooja Celebrations
Immersion of Durga Idol
Celebrations On Durga Pooja
Durga pooja celebrations coincide with the Navaratri and Dussehra celebrations. Each state has its own way of celebrating this occasion. However, celebrations in Kokata, the erstwhile Calcutta, city in West Bengal, is the most profound and famous.
The pooja (worship) is done on a large scale with pandals (temporary structures erected to install idols for this purpose) everywhere in the state.
Various community pujas are also held with sponsorships from various business institutions and firms.
The main pooja is for 3 days that is, Maha Saptmi, Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami. Recitations of mantras and aartis are carried out by priests on this occasion.
There is street lighting and light shows all over, temporary food stalls dot the city during the celebrations. Educational institutions, government and private institutions remain closed for 4 days. People come to visit their relatives in Bengal on this occasion.
On the last day the Vijaya Dasmi day or Dashmi day, the Goddess is offered a tearful farewell. Idols of Goddess Durga are carried out in processions in each locality and then immersed in a close by lake or river.
Vermillion Being Applied To The Goddess
Some Interesting Points
- All ingredients used to make the idols of the Goddess come from the holy Ganga river.
- Idols of her four children, Karthik, Ganesh, Saraswati and Lakshmi flank the idol of the Goddess.
- Though traditional Durga pooja celebrations last 10 days the main rituals last for the last four days starting from Shashti, the 6th day.
- The Saptami puja on the seventh day infuses life in the Goddess by a process known as Bodhon.
- The demon Mahisasura was killed on Ashtami day and a ritual called Sandhi puja is performed in the evening. This day worship of young girls called Kumari puja is also carried out. Sandhi puja is a link between Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami.
- On Navami day, the Maha Aarti is done in the evening this being the last day of Durga Puja.
- On Dashmi day the idols of the Goddess is immersed in the river or lake. A special ritual called Bijoya is held on this day. Sweets are exchanged and people embrace one another vowing brotherhood and good relations.
Foods On Durga Pooja
On this occasion special foods are prepared during the 6 days of this celebrations. Sweet dishes form a very important part of the food preparations.
Some of the recipes and foods that are specially prepared on this occasion are
Click on the blue links for the respective recipes. You can even watch the video recipes below.
Some Of My Articles On Indian Festivals
- Ganesh Chaturthi Or Ganpati (2013) - The Celebration Of The Festival Of The Elephant God
Ganpati, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav and Vinayaka Chaturti are the many names by which the festival of Ganpati is known by. To know more about the festival of the Elephant God, read on...
- Navratri - Durga Pooja (Puja) 2013- The Nine Nights Hindu Festival Of The Worship Of The Nine Forms
Navratri is probably the most widely celebrated Hindu festival which is held twice a year. To know more about this nine night festival, read on...
- Vijayadashmi-Dussehra (2013)- The Festival Of The Celebration Of The Victory Of Good Over Evil
Dussehra is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India. To know more about this festival, read on...
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© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly
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