Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
1. Durga Puja
Durga Puja is a festival dedicated to the worship of the most revered Hindu goddess Durga. MaaDurga or Shakti is worshipped rigorously over the last five days of Navratri, in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. The deity is depicted as a warrior goddess with fierce look, ten arms, and each hand holding a different weapon symbolic of power and rage.As per legends, Maa Durga defeated the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura,vanquishing him with a spear whilst astride a lion, after nine days of fierce battle. The festival thus exemplifies the triumph of Good over Evil.Durga Puja is extensively celebrated in West Bengal, principally in the Bengali Hindu society, where it is not just a festival, but a major sociocultural event. This Pan India festival is also celebrated with much fervor and devotion in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, Delhi, Gujarat and Kerala to name a few.
2. About Goddess Durga Maa
Goddess Durga is worshiped especially in West Bengal. According to Hinduism, Goddess Durga is a symbol of female dynamism and Destroyer of demons. Who hold the infinite power of the universe and said to be as mother of the Universe.Goddess Durga, wife of Lord Shiva, is called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika and Kali. She has two sons, Ganesha and Karttikeya, and two daughters Lakshmi and Sarashawti. Goddess Durga depicted as having ten arms, riding on a lion, carrying weapons and a lotus flower, maintaining a meditative smile.Navratri 2014 in India Traditionally, Durga Puja is a Hindu festival celebrated during the month of September or October in India. Current year Durga Puja will start on Tuesday, 30th September, 2014 and will continue to Saturday, 4th October, 2014. The festival Durga Puja specially is celebrated in West Bengal surrounding the capital city of Kolkata or in Bengali communities of other states. Dussera or Navaratri is the similar festival of Durgapuja celebrated rest part of India except eastern India.
3. Durga Puja Traditions
Durga puja is the most awaited festival for the Hindus especially in West Bengal, which situated in the eastern province of India. The puja involves many intricate rituals. Also known as Durgotsav, this festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga, the most powerful of all Hindu Goddesses. The people of West Bengal share the belief that Maa Durga descends on earth on the sixth day of the puja and the people welcome her with great devotion and fanfare. During the festival pandals are set up in every nook and corner, worshipping the idol of the Goddess. Many of the big pandals compete with each other and try to outdo each other in terms of decoration and artwork. They spend plenty of money in the designs of the pandals as well as the idol. Usually, the puja is organized by the local clubs or communities, who take donations from the people. The money thus collected is spent on the idol and the decoration of the pandals. Every year many of the clubs create history by building something innovative and aweinspiring.
4. Appearance of Durga
Brahma, the leader of god and goddess, had given Mahishasura an inhuman force/demon the power not to be defeated by a man or a God. So, Mahishasura had unleashed a reign of terror on earth, heaven and the nether worlds, and he could not be defeated by any man or god, anywhere.Hearing this Vishnu, Shiva and all of the gods became very angry and beams of fierce light emerged from their bodies. The combined energy of all Gods was appeared as power of infinity or the goddess Durga. Each of her weapons was given to her by various gods Rudras trident, Vishnus discus, Indras thunderbolt, Brahmas amendable, Kubers Ratnahar, etc.After this Goddess Durga had announced battle with Mahishasur, Durga fight for a long time and killed Mahishasur.
Mahalaya accompanies in the atmosphere of Durga Puja. The countdown for the Durga Puja begins from Mahalaya. It is only from the day of Mahalaya that the preparation for the Durga Puja reaches the final stage. This year Mahalaya is held on 23rd September, 2014 Tuesday.The day of Mahalaya is also the day of remembrance. On this day, people offer Tarpon in memory of their deceased forefathers. Devotees and worshipers buy clothes and sweets to offer to their forefathers in their nearest river. Tarpon is to be performed in empty stomach. After offering tarpon, people eat at the same place.
In Bengal, Durga Puja is also called Akalbodhan untimely awakening of Durga, Sharadiya Pujo autumnal worship, Sharodotsab Bengali festival of autumn, Maha Pujo grand puja, Maayer Pujo worship of the Mother or merely as Puja or Pujo. In East Bengal Bangladesh, Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. It is also called Durga Puja in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.Puja is called Navaratri Puja in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Maharashtra, Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, Mysore Dussehra in Mysore, Karnataka and Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu and Bommala koluvu in Andhra Pradesh.
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