Durga Puja is a famous Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, and Bihar. It is believed that this holiday symbolizes the victory of good over evil since the goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura. The festival celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Although this is a 10-day festival, the last five days are considered the most important. In addition to the goddess Durga, the deities of Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Kartika are also worshiped.
Durga Puja is celebrated in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Himachal Pradesh. The most important days of the festival are known as Mahalaya, Shashti, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadasami. In 2021, the festival starts on October 6 and ends on October 15.
Schools, colleges, and government offices are closed during puja. People indulge in shopping for puja right after Mahalaya. During this time of the year, most stores offer discounts on clothing and other merchandise. On Maha Ashtami, men usually wear kurta pajamas and women drape in saris.
Cultural events are organized in different locations and the puja organizers compete with each other in themed pandas. The beauty of Durga Puja is that each pandal has its own story to tell with its art and decor. People line up to enter the pandal to enjoy the magnificent artwork and décor.
There are grocery stalls in every nook and cranny, and restaurants specialize in Durga Puja. The streets are decorated with different lights to convey the festive mood. To keep the traffic under control, more police officers are involved than usual.
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Durga Puja is the largest festival in the Bengali community. In addition to celebrations, the festival requires family gatherings. This is the time when people overcome their differences and come together to celebrate unity. To be precise, Durga Puja transcends religion and glorifies the spirit of humanity.
Many exciting festive activities are organized on the eve of the festival of Durga puja. Some of these are: setting up of ‘pandals’, eating of street food and shopping. A ‘Pandal’ is a place where the idol of Goddess Durga is kept. All the rituals and prayers take place inside the pandal. Magnificent pandals are set up before the puja begins. The architecture of the world’s most famous buildings is replicated. New designs are also laid out. Alongside pandals, many food stalls are set up which sell a variety of street foods ranging from golgappas to bajjis and samosas. As a tradition, in some of the states such as West Bengal, people wear new dresses every day.
Celebrations are also organized in Europe. The sculpture idols are shipped from India and stored in warehouses to be re-used over the years. Don`t miss these racy celebrations in 2021!