Durga Puja is a big Hindu festival celebrated for ten days from September to October. The celebrations in India are lively with drumbeats, chants, and beautiful decorations.
How Many Places is the Durga puja know here!
The festivities kick off with Goddess Durga coming to earth on Mahalaya. Then, there are ten days of celebration, starting from October 14 and ending with Durga Visarjan on October 24.
Calendar for Durga Puja 2023:
|Shardiya Navratri||Day and Date||Goddess Worshipped|
|Mahalaya||14 October, 2023, Saturday||Devi Mahatmya|
|Maha Prathma||15 October, 2023, Sunday||Maa Shailputri|
|Maha Dwitiya||16 October, 2023, Monday||Maa Brahmacharini|
|Maha Tritiya||17 October, 2023, Tuesday||Maa Chandraghanta|
|Maha Chaturthi||18 October, 2023, Wednesday||Maa Kushmanda|
|Maha Panchami||19 October, 2023, Thursday||Maa Skandamata|
|Maha Sashti||20 October, 2023, Friday||Maa Katyayani|
|Maha Saptami||21 October, 2023, Saturday||Maa Kalaratri|
|Maha Ashtami||22 October, 2023, Sunday||Mahagauri|
|Maha Navami||23 October, 2023, Monday||Maa Siddhidatri|
|Vijay Dashami||24 October, 2023, Tuesday||Durga Visarjan|
Where is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated in almost every part of India. However, the customs, traditions, and ways of celebrating may differ significantly.
While Kolkata remains the epicentre of Durga Puja in India, it is equally celebrated in many other parts of the country, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Karnataka, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh.
How is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Imagine lots of dancing, singing, and drama for nine days. People dress up, perform traditional dances, and set up special places called Durga Puja pandals for worship.
The celebrations mark the nine nights when Goddess Durga fought Mahisasura. Families get together in these temporary pavilions, doing worship rituals.
They dress in their best traditional clothes, have live music, and dance. On the last day, there’s a big parade with the Goddess’s idol through the streets, ending with putting it in water.
Rituals and Traditions for Durga Puja
Each day has its own special rituals for Goddess Durga. Here’s a quick overview:
Shubho Mahalaya – 14 October 2023
This starts the festival, marking the end of a period where Hindus remember their ancestors. It’s believed that Goddess Durga starts her journey from Mount Kailash to visit Earth.
Maha Shashti – 20 October 2023
This is when the festival kicks into high gear in eastern states. Lord Rama prayed to Goddess Durga, and her face is revealed on this day.
Maha Shaptami – 21 October 2023
On this day, people decorate the worship places, do special rituals, and enjoy festivities with their families.
Maha Ashtami – 22 October 2023
A significant part is Sandhi Puja, where there’s a special prayer in the last 24 minutes of this day and the first 24 minutes of the next. There’s also a symbolic sacrifice.
Maha Navami – 23 October 2023
This is the end of the nine nights, marking the day when Maa Durga defeated Mahishasura. People invite little girls, offer them food and gifts, and perform special prayers.
Bijaya (Vijay) Dashami – 24 October 2023
This day commemorates Rama’s victory and the triumph of Goddess Durga. People burn effigies or put the Goddess’s idol in water.
Durga Puja Visarjan
The festival ends with immersing the Goddess’s idol in water. There’s a big procession with lots of dancing, singing, and people saying goodbye to the Goddess.
Durga Puja Prasad
While each festival day is dedicated to the Goddess in different forms, devotees offer different Prasad to each avatar. These are as follows:
Day 1 – Desi Ghee: For Maa Shailputri, they put some pure desi ghee on the Goddess’s foot, asking for a healthy life without any sickness.
Day 2 – Sugar: Maa Brahmacharini gets a sweet gift of sugar, as people seek her blessings.
Day 3 – Kheer: Maa Chandraghanta, the strong form of Goddess Durga, gets a yummy offering of Kheer.
Day 4 – Malpua: People offer Maa Kushmanda a special dish called Malpua, wishing for lots of happiness and prosperity.
Day 5 – Bananas: Maa Skandmata is given bananas, and in return, she blesses everyone with good health.
Day 6 – Honey: On this day, they give honey to Goddess Katyayani as a treat.
Day 7 – Jaggery: People share jaggery and sweets made with jaggery with Maa Kaalratri, and also with Brahmins as a way of giving back.
Day 8 – Coconut: Goddess Mahagauri is welcomed with a coconut, bringing happiness and prosperity to everyone.
Day 9 – Til or Sesame Seeds: To honor Maa Siddhidatri, people offer her sesame seeds, asking for her blessings.
Durga Puja History and Significance
Durga Puja is one of India’s most significant religious festivals on a cultural, social, and artistic level. It has several historical instances that mark the tradition’s beginning, including the following:
The festival is all about welcoming Goddess Durga back home each year as she visits her parents with her children.
Going way back, the festival has its roots in medieval Bengal, with a story about Lord Rama doing Puja during this time to defeat Ravana.
Back in the 16th century, a rich landowner named Raja Kangsanarayan threw a big festival in Taherpur, inspiring many other fancy celebrations.
In 1606, Bhabananda Majumdar of Nadia organized the Puja, making it even more extravagant.
In 1610, Laxmikanta Majumdar held the first Durga Puja celebration. The East India Company later bought three villages – Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti – from this family.
Celebration of Durga Puja in Different States of India
Different states have their unique ways of celebrating, from Kolkata’s stunning decorations to Delhi’s illuminated nights, Gujarat’s vibrant dances, and Himachal Pradesh’s special observances.