Durga Puja is considered as the greatest festival of Bengali people in India. It is an annual Hindu festival in the Indian subcontinent. This festival is particularly popular in West Bengal and other states of Eastern India. The festival is celebrated for four days and Goddess Durga is worshiped delicately for these days.
Durga Puja is generally celebrated in the months between September to October. The start of the festival is marked with Mahalaya which occurs seven days before the main festival. The Pujo consists of four days Sasthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Astami And Maha Nabami. The last day of the festival is called Bijoya Dasami. The festival ends with the immersion of the Idol Of Goddess Durga. On the final day the people exchange greetings with one another.
Everyone enjoy this festival very much, wear new clothes and Pandal hopping. The pandals are designed with different themes. Huge investments are made for the Idols And decoration of the pandals.
Apart from India Durga Puja is also celebrated overseas like US, UK, Australia & also in other countries.
Below are the Durga Puja 2018 dates:
|Mahalaya 2018||9th October 2018||Tuesday|
|Maha Panchami 2018||14th October 2018||Sunday|
|Maha Sasthai 2018||15th October 2018||Monday|
|Maha Saptami 2018||16th October 2018||Tuesday|
|Maha Asthami 2018||17th October 2018||Wednesday|
|Maha Nabami 2018||18th October 2018||Thrusday|
|Bijaya Dashami 2018||19th October 2018||Friday|
Mahalaya: Mahalaya the day Godess Durga is believed to have descended to earth to obliterate all evils. During Mahalaya Pitri Paksha ends & Devi Paksha starts. Thus Mahalaya is a two dynamic festival.
Pitri Paksha: In this day, according to the Hindu puranas a shraddha performance has to be made by the son is compulsory to make sure the ancestors soul goes to heaven. In Bengali is is called “Tarpan”It is performed during the dawn time in the river. The son offers food, remembers and takes dips in the river. It is also called “Pindi Daan” by the Bengalis.
Devi Paksha: Devi Paksha means the period of Goddess Durga. From Mahalaya the countdown of Dugra Puja starts. According to the Hindu tradition from New Moon to Full Moon of Badhra are the fifteen days period which is considered as Devi Paksha. The nine day following the new moon of Badhra is called Navartri.
Maha Panchami: Maha Panchami unofficially marks the commencement of Durga Puja. Though according to rituals Durga Puja the unveiling of Durga Puja starts with Maha Saptami now-a-days Bengali start their celebration one day before.
Maha Sasthi: The Sixth day of Devi Paksha is known as Maha Sasthi which marks the official beginning of Durga Puja.There are four stages in it.
- Kalparambho: It means the beginning of Durga Puja
- Bodhan: It means the unveiling of the face of Goddess Durga
- Amantran: It means to invite Goddess Dugra
- Adhivas: It means sanctifying the stay of Goddess Durga in the area of Puja Mandap.
Maha Saptami: Maha Saptami is the first day of Durga Puja.On this day during early hours “Navapatrika” is observed. ”Navapatrika” means a group of nine plants bunched together.Nine leaves from nine different tress are tied up with yellow threads to the twigs of white “Aparajita”Mala And bathed in the holy Gangas with chanting of mantras.
Maha Asthami: : Maha saptami is the second day of Durga Puja. This day is also known as Astra Puja as on this day the weapons of Goddess Durga is worshiped.It is believed that in this day Goddess Durga starts her battle against demon Mahishasur to won back the heaven for Gods.
Maha Navami : Maha Nabami is the third & it is observed on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha .Maha Navami starts after the sandhi puja on the day of Maha Asthami.It is beleived that on this day Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur.Maha Navami rituals are considered as the last rituals of Durga puj.Maha Arti on this day formally considered as the end of the religios customs. Prasads and Bhogs are offered to Goddess Durga and later shared by the devotees after the Puja.
Bijaya Dashami: The final & the last day of the Durga Puja is Bijaya Dashami. On this day Maha Aarthi, prayers are done which marks the end of the end of the rituals of the end of Durga Puja. After that Godderss Durga is brought from the Puja Mandap and redied for departure for immersion also called Visarjan. A large procession is arranged by the devotees & a greet send-off takes place during Visarjan. The idol of Goddess Durga is immersed with great care. After the visarjan ceremony is over greetings & sweets are shared between the relatives.The juniors takes blessing from the seniors.