Celebrating the traditions of Durga Puja
By Sutikshya Mallick | Oct 04, 2019
Durga Puja, which starts from the sixth day of Navaratri, celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasur. Famous festival in the Easter region of India, Goddess Durga is believed to bring prosperity, peace and happiness in the lives of her devotees.
Chokku Daan, a very important ritual followed during Navratri is painting the eyes of Goddess Durga which is performed on Mahalaya which was on September 28 this year. It is believed the eyes of the deity are supposed to be painted last and in complete darkness, and in the presence of only one sculptor. This ceremony marks the beginning of the deity’s journey in the earthly world.
According to the tradition, the soil or the clay used for making the Durga idols should be taken from ‘Nishiddho Palli’ or forbidden areas (courtesan’s house).
With this festival, shopping mania reaches its peak as Bengalis from all over India prefer to wear new clothes on all the five days. With so-much fanfare and excitement, lets have a look at what rituals takes place during this 5-day festival and what is the significance behind it!
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that by listening to the melodious prayers of her devotees, the deity Goddess Durga transcends on earth along with her four children from her heavenly abode. This day marks the ritualistic unveiling ceremony of the idol. Devotees welcome the deity with enchanting dhak beats (drums), dhunuchi (fire) and Shiuli (flower). Shashti is the day when important rituals, such as Bodhon, Amontron and Adhibas, are carried out.
Along with Goddess Durga and her four children, Lord Ganesha’s wife is also worshipped during the festival. Kola Bou (tree bride) or a banana plant wrapped in a white saree with a red border is placed beside Lord Ganesha. On Saptami, the Kola Bou or Nabapatrika receives a holy bath in the morning. Nine plants, representing the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, which is worshipped before the main prayer ceremony of Maha Saptami, Kalparambha and Mahasnan.
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Being considered as one of the most important day, Ashtami is being celebrated as Devi Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasur. Devotees offer Pushpanjali, recite hymns and offer flowers to please the deity. Young girls are worshipped in the customary ritual of ‘Kumari Puja’, which is held to celebrate faith through ceremonious worship in sense of the divine deity. Further in the evening, ‘Sandhi Puja’ is being conducted, which interlinks the two days – Navami and Ashtami. Devotees prefer to eat vegetarian meal on the auspicious Ashtami.
Maha Navami marks the formal ending of the religious customary ceremonies of the Durga festival with ‘Maha Aarti’. The celebrations begin with the culmination of the ‘Sandhi Puja’. Food in the form of Navami bhog is offered to the deity and later distributed among the devotees. Later, devotees prefer non-vegetarian meals such as Mutton, Hilsa to celebrate the festival.
The 5-day festivities of Durga Puja end with Vijaya Dashami day. On the last and final day, the idols are immersed into the holy Ganges, along with a grand procession drenched in the soulful rhythms of dhak and wrapped with a thick fragrant smoke of dhuno. Married women play with vermilion, which is primarily known as ‘Sindur Khela’ and greet each other with sweets. With teary eyes and heavy heart, devotees submerge the idols of the goddess in water, which is known as ‘Visarjan’. This process symbolizes the return of the deity to her heavenly abode with her children.
Hack the festival:
With any celebratory occasion, comes gifting ideas. If you are one of those people who waits till the last minute to get things in order, then worry not! We got you sorted!
You might have a long list of relatives that need to be gifted. Instead of buying an impersonal gift card, why not give them a stylish kitchen appliance such as a food processor or a something like a mixer grinder or an OTG, which you know that they will definitely utilize. Even an electric kettle or hand blender can be a very useful gift for someone staying alone in a different city.
Apart from the gifting ritual, make sure that you have all your outfits, shoes and accessories are ready to avoid last-minute hassle. Keep an iron at home to quickly remove any creases from your new outfits before wearing them on festive days.
We, from the entire team of Bajaj Electricals, wish you Subho Durga Pujo!
Must Read: Healthy twist: Fasting foods to consume during Navaratri