- Religion and Philosophy
Durga Puja -- the biggest festival of Bengali people
Durga Puja (Worshiping Goddess Durga)
Durga Puja (Worshiping Mother Goddess Durga) is the greatest festival of the Bengali people world over. Symbolizing the win of the good over the evil, & the superiority of the Mother Nature over anything other, this festival is held every year in autumn, usually in September-October, according to Hindu almanac. The idols of the Goddess Durga with her four children(Daughters Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth & Saraswati, the goddess of learning, & sons Ganesha, the god of success & Kartikeya, the god of war) along with the idol of the demon Mahisasura, symbolizing the evil, whom the Goddess is slaying, are made with clay & are placed in temporary temples made of light construction material. The temples (called Pandals) are exquisite in their decorations, & several neighbouring Puja committees fight for artistic supremacy. The festival is held over four days, & each day thousands of people visit the pandals attired in their best & new dresses. The nights are equally good, with beautiful lighting arrangements in the pandals. After four days of joy, the idols are taken out from the pandals & taken to nearby rivers with a long procession, & are immersed in water.
The occasion, though mainly a Hindu festival, has become a huge & gala social festival of the Bengali people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, & all take part in the festival. It is truly a National festival for the Bengali people.