Durga Puja

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Durga Puja Celebrations


2017 Durga Puja in Kolkata

Durga Puja is the biggest Hindu festival in West Bengal. For Durga Puja, there is five day annual holiday in West Bengal. It is the most significant social event in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsab in Bengali. The importance of Durga Puja increased during the British rule. The tradition of community Puja gained popularity in the latter half of 20th century. The present day celebration of Durga Puja in Kolkata include construction of decorated pavilions called pandal where, the artistically made statue of the goddess Durga is kept for Puja.

During Durga Puja Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord karthikeya, goddess Lakshmi, goddess Saraswati, and goddess Durga is worshipped. Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of Ashwin from the sixth to tenth day after full moon. The pujas are conducted for ten days and it is believed that goddess Parvati from whom Durga was created by Vishnu, Shiva and, Brahma is visiting her fatherís house in Himalayas, with her four children during the days of puja.

People wear new clothes, exchange sweet meats and gifts during Durga puja. In the evenings people will visit the idols kept in the decorated pandal. In Kolkata it is like a carnival attended by people from different communities and different backgrounds. The idol of the goddess is kept on a special stage inside the pandal. The idol of Durga is usually made as sitting on a lion with ten hands and weapons in all her hands. People offer flowers to the idol starting from sixth to tenth day of the Durga festival. Ritual drummers perform their skills during the puja. On the tenth day goddess returns to her husband Shiva after getting ritualized by the immersion of the idol in to river water. This day is known as Bijoya Dasami in Bengali. Durga Puja is the worship of good things in life, which can win over the evilness.

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