Durga Puja


This is also called as Durga Pujo. As soon as the Mahishasura changed his form to a buffalo, Goddess Durga beheaded him, freeing heaven and earth from the tyrant demon. Durga’s avatar of Mahishasura Mardini is originated from this battlefield, meaning ‘The Killer of Mahishasura’. This battlefield scene is reenacted and replicated in the form of the Durga idols worshipped in the Durga puja.

Durga Puja 2023

Sat , 21st Oct 2023

Origin

This pujo has been in practice since 16th century. Zamindars or rich landlords celebrated and financed the Durga puja for the whole village. They also organised “Boendo Bariri Pujo” where a huge Durga Devi idol is set in the courtyard of the Haveli for the village to worship. Over time the celebrations have gathered popularity; mantapa or pandals are set in various locations in the city of Kolkatta and states of Odisha, Assam and West Bengal where the idols are placed for worship for Durga pujo.

Idols of Durga Pujo

Goddess Durga idol is set along with idols of Ganesh, Kartikeya, & Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati. Durga is seen with ten hands holding weapons handed to Her by Devas and a fierce yet divine face. She is decorated in a gorgeous saree and jewellery. Another important idol of this pandal is that of the demon, Mahishasura. He is seen kneeling on his knees with a frightened expression on his face as Durga Devi fiercely gazes down at him. Sometimes Durga is seen piercing the Asura with Her Trident.

Durga Pujo- An overview

On the day of Durga Pujo, with the sound of dhak and shankh -conch shell and smell of freshly cooked bhog in the atmosphere, every household and pandal celebrates final day with boundless energy. Every day of Durga Pujo devotees recite Chandi Path and perform sincere prayer to the Devi. On the Shasti tithi the Devi Idol enters the pandal for worship. She is taken in a procession also goes with other idols of Ganesha, Karthikeyan and Lakshmi & Saraswathi. Dhak, a drum-like instrument played using wooden sticks adds frenzy to the procession. Around the evening, Durga Devi is invoked in a ritual called Bodon. Unveiling of Devi's face and invoking Her energy is an important ritual for Shasti tithi. The ceremonies of the Saptami tithi commence before dawn. ‘Kola bau’ (Banana Bride) or ‘Nabapatrika snan’ is given a bath at the holy river as the priest chants mantras. This Navapatrika or Banana sapling is believed as the consort of Lord Ganesha. A new saree is draped around this Navapatrika and is placed on the right of Ganesh.

Ashtami or Maha Durgasthami, the Eighth-day is the day of colours, enthusiasm, and grandeur. Devotees gather for the Sondhi aarti.

On Mahanavami, nine small pots with flags of different colours and different sprouts denoting each for the different form of shaktis are installed. Devotees perform anjoli- offering flowers along with beetle leaves at the glorious feet of the Devi idol. After this, Kumari Puja is performed where young, unmarried girls are worshipped as a child form of the Durga Devi. Flowers, sweets and Dakshina as money or small gift are presented as offerings to the young Kumari dressed up like a Goddess. 

Other two main rituals are Boli and Homa. Boli is the sacrificial tradition to appease the goddess Durga where a pumpkin or a sugarcane is offered to the Devi. Chandi Homa is performed, the festival for the day comes to an end with special aarti called dhunuchi-nach, a Bengali incense burner used for the ritualised worship dance.

The final day or the tenth day, Dashami tithi is celebrated as the Bijoya Dashami. On this day, the Devi idol commences her journey back to heaven. One of the most interesting ritual of the day is the Sindoor khela. In this ritual, married women offer baran- farewell in the form of betel leaf, sweets and kumkum a similar offering to Tamboolam to the Devi. After this, the ladies apply sindoor on their forehead near the spot where the hair parts, then smear the rest on each other’s faces. This ritual is believed to be a prayer to the Devi to guard the peace and health of their families. Women are dressed in a unique pattern of sarees called “laal-paar-saada-sarees”- white saree with crimson border

After this ritual of Sindoor khela, Bisorjon ritual begins. It is where the immersion of the Devi idol happens, this is the concluding ceremony to the Durga puja. Both the idols of Maa Durga and Nabapatrika are immersed in the river. The water from the immersion spot is carried back home to be sprinkled in the living spaces to hold on to the energy in their hearts

Durga Puja festival dates between 2019 & 2029

Year

Date

2019

Friday, 4th of October

2020

Thursday, 22nd of October

2021

Tuesday, 12th of October

2022

Sunday, 2nd of October

2023

Saturday, 21st of October

2024

Wednesday, 9th of October

2025

Sunday, 28th of September

2026

Saturday, 17th of October

2027

Wednesday, 6th of October

2028

Sunday, 24th of September

2029

Saturday, 13th of October