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

Goddess Durga along with her four children
Goddess Durga along with her four children | Source

About Durga Pooja Festival

Durga Pooja is celebrated over a period of 6 days with the first day being known as :

  • Mahalaya

And each succeeding day being known as

  • Shasthi
  • 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

Source

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

Street lighting during Durga pooja celebrations in Calcutta.
Street lighting during Durga pooja celebrations in Calcutta. | Source

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.


The idols being made
The idols being made | Source

Vermillion Being Applied To The Goddess

Sindur or vermillion being applied to Goodess Duga on Dashmi day
Sindur or vermillion being applied to Goodess Duga on Dashmi day | Source

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.


Bengali Rasgulla Recipe

How to Make Mishti Doi The Sweet Yoghurt Recipe

Labra Recipe

Luchi/Puri Recipe

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

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20 comments

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 3 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Nice to know a little info about India one at a time. Thanks for taking us on your place Rajan.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

People everywhere identify with the celebration of good over evil. And what a happy ending: "people embrace one another vowing brotherhood and good relations." Thank you for this very interesting account of the Indian Durga Pooja (Puja) 2013 Festival.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

You always have such interesting information and your pictures are always great. Thank you again for a wonderful education. Blessings to you my friend.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Durga Pooja (Puja) 2013 Festival interesting, useful and so informative about a different cutlure


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

So very interesting and voted up for sure Rajan. Enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Seems as a very interesting festival Rajan and the images are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Whatever culture, religion, etc. the struggle between good and evil seems to be universal. I was unaware of this festival and its history until now. Voting up and interesting and awesome job as always.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

A very interesting festival. Thanks for sharing your culture and tradition Rajan. Voted this up and shared. Have a nice weekend!


fivesenses profile image

fivesenses 3 years ago from new delhi

Another one of your great hubs

enjoyed reading about the Durga Pooja.

voted and shared.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@Mycee-thanks you.

@MsDora-glad you like the idea behind the celebrations of this festival.

@Bill-thank you and have a great weekend.

@Devika-glad you like the info on this festival.

@Eddy-thanks and good to see you.

@Mike-thanks.

@Crystal-thanks for reading and glad to know you like this information.

@Thelma-thank you and I appreciate the read and sharing.

@Leena-thank you for visiting and for sharing the hub as well.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Thank you for sharing this information about your culture, Rajan. The images are bright and beautiful, and I enjoyed learning about the struggle between good and evil. Voted up and more!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

The Durga Pooja (Puja) Festival is such a colorful festival in so many ways. The photos of the colorful and lighted buildings are amazing.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

We were just studying some of the Hindu basics last night. Thank you so much for your insights into this celebration.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

Nice to see you on here again rajan. Your hubs are always so interesting. this one is no exception.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

Thank you rajan jolly for sharing all of this information. There is so much I do not know. Every time I come to read I find out new things that help me understand and know more.

Angels are on the way to you today ps


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Patricia.


Susan Recipes profile image

Susan Recipes 2 years ago from India

Wow.. It seems like a very big festival. Interesting share . Voted up.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Yes, it is the major festival of Bengal, Susan Recipes. Thanks for the read and votes.


swalia profile image

swalia 9 months ago

I came to know of some new things about the festival. Thanks for sharing!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 9 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

You're welcome, Shaloo and thank you for reading.

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