Durga Puja Celebration 2020: It’s that time of the year again – the festive air is all around the corner and so is the most awaited festival of the year for Hindus – Durga Pooja. It is a major festival among the Hindus and is majorly celebrated with great pomp and honour across East India.
The Dhak beats, the pandal, the lip-smacking street foods and the decorative idols of Maa Durga is reason enough for Bengalis all over the world to rejoice.
Importance of Durga Puja Celebration 2020
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During this season, Bengalis all over the world worship Goddess Durga and celebrate for ten long days in the month of Ashvina (September – October).
Durga Puja marks the victory of Maa Durga over the demon Mahishashura and freeing humankind of evil. It is the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga stands for divine forces or shakti that reigns over evil.
It starts on the same day as Navratri – a nine day festival dedicated to nine different and powerful forms of Goddess Durga. For other people it’s Dussehra, but for Bengalis and East Indians, Durga Pujo is one grand affair.
It is also popular as Durgotsav.
This year, Durga Puja is slated to be celebrated from October 22 to October 26.
The first day of Durga Puja is known as Mahalaya, which marks the coming of Maa Durga. It is the day when the Goddess defeated the demon king Mahishashura.
Mahalaya begins at twilight and people also pray to Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha. It marks the journey of Maa Durga to her natal home along with her children.
While it is a ten-day long festival, major celebrations start from the sixth day, i.e., the Shashti. The 7th day is known as Shaptami, then the next day as Ashtami, the ninth day is Navami and the last and tenth day is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami. Each day has its own significance and is celebrated with grandeur and on a large scale across the Eastern states of India.
The pandals compete with other pandals in the locality or city for the best themed pandal. Every pandal follows a distinct theme from space themed to waterfall or thunder and storm themed pandal.
The sight is magnificent and the air is filled with mirth and laughter or Durga bhajans, bandana, light and show.
From morning pushpanjali to the khichuri bhog, everything is an awaited event.
Durga Puja is all about feasting and gorging on delicious food and sweets, meeting with friends and family and dressing up.
It is customary for Bengalis to wear new clothes on all the days of the ceremony starting from Shashti to Dashami.
The Dhol and Dhunuchi Naach is mesmerizing and people welcome the goddess with Dhunuchi Naach. It is not to be missed when you go pandal hopping.
The last day, the Vijaya Dashami is an emotional affair as people bid adieu to Maa Durga and immerse her idol known as Visarjan. People greet and take blessings from elders after the immersion of the idols and wish each other “Shubho Bijoya Dashami”.
Married women play the famous “Shidur Khela” wherein they dance and apply Sindur on each other before the immersion, wearing the traditional white and red Bengali saree.