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Durga Puja Celebrations


2017 Durga Puja in Orissa

Durga Puja is a celebration, which is viewed for 10 days. Durga Puja is rejoiced in two unusual ways in Orissa. In temples of goddess (Shakti Peeths), Durga Puja is monitored with good rituals for 10 - 16 days recognized as Shodasa Upachara. Mother Durga is also devoted by devotees in diverse pandals in figure deities in the whole state. The pandals are generally decorated brilliantly.

As said by Markandeya Purana, King of the Chedi dynasty, Suratha began rituals of Mother Durga during 300 B.C. Durga Puia has diverse names in diverse Sastras and Puranas. In Kalika Purana and Devi Purana, it’s known as Vijaya Dashami.

The current form of the worship of Durga with idol in Orissa had started in the supremacy of Chodaganga Dev, the Ganga King, in 11th century in Puri. The clay idol of ‘Mahishamardini Durga’ is worshipped as Gosani and Dussehra celebration is named as Gosani Yatra.

The Durga Puja festival begins with Mahalaya, which is the first stage of Aswin’s waxing moon. Thousands of people recommend prayers to their associates at city's river banks with a ritual named Tarpana. The inaugural ceremony of Goddess idol begins on Mahashasthi. The major puja runs for 3 days, named Mahasaptami, Mahaastami, and Mahanavami respectively. Puja rituals are lengthy and very complicated and detailed. Three days of Shlokas and Mantras with Arati requires a specialist priest for this Puja. Due to this, number of Pujas secretly performed by families has concentrated so Durga Puja has come out as a public festival.

On Dussera, Ramleela, which is a folk play with impulsive dialogues and music which tells the story of Lord Rama, is performed till wee hours. Songs are buzzed in honor of Lord Rama and people witness this conventional theatre with overstated jewellery, costumes, drama, and makeup. Traditional tournaments of sword fighting were also organized by village associations.

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