Durga Puja Quick Facts
|Durga Puja (दुर्गा पूजा)
|20 October 2023 - 24 October 2023
|Festival Observed by
History of Durga Puja
Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian subcontinent and South Asia, in which the Hindu goddess Durga is worshipped. In this six days are celebrated as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami.
The history of Durga Puja is very ancient in Hinduism and it is celebrated as the worship and worship of Mother Durga. The earliest mentioned form of Durga Puja is related in the Markandeya Purana where it is told that the Goddess Durga was given the facility to shine by the Devas. There she performed her puja in the form of a fasting festival which later came to be known as Durga Puja.
Story of Durga Puja
The festival of Durga Puja is celebrated as the victory of the Hindu goddess Durga over the evil demon Mahishasura. Therefore, the festival of Durga Puja is also considered as the victory of good over evil. This story is described in "Devi Mahatmya" of Markandeya Purana. According to this legend, a demon named Mahishasura was very powerful and possessed of amazing power and had superior support more than any deity. When he started tyranny in heaven, the gods sought help from Adi Shakti. Adi Shakti created Durga in her goddess form and she killed Mahishasura and made the gods victorious. Durga Puja is celebrated on the basis of this story only.
Story of Mata Kali: Mata Kali, one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga, is also worshiped during Durga Puja. According to the legend of Mata Kali, when a demon named Raktabeej tried to attack Goddess Parvati, Parvati in her anger transformed into the form of Mata Kali. Mata Kali killed Raktabeej and made the deities safe. Hence, the worship of Goddess Kali is important in Durga Puja.
Significance of Durga Puja
Durga Puja is an important and major festival in Hinduism. It is a great festival of spirituality, sociality and cultural which is celebrated through worship and worship of Goddess Durga. The importance of this festival is due to the following reasons:
Worship of Mother Durga: Mother Durga is worshiped and worshiped in Durga Puja. Mother Durga is considered a symbol of strength, power, decisiveness and prestige of justice. This festival symbolizes the prestige, power and strategic importance of Mother Durga.
Social and Cultural Celebration: Durga Puja is also celebrated as a social and cultural festival. On this occasion, people decorate their homes, install idols of Durga Mata, perform bhajan-kirtan, offer rasgulla and prasad, organize dance and cultural programs. This festival provides an opportunity for people to unite and promotes cultural organization in the society.
Religious Significance: Durga Puja is an important festival of Hinduism and holds religious significance. By celebrating this, people participate in the prestige and worship of Maa Durga, which strengthens their religious and spiritual ties.
How to celebrate Durga Puja
Durga Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. Here are some common ways to celebrate Durga Puja:
Setting up Pandals: Temporary structures, known as pandals, are created to house the idols of Goddess Durga and her divine companions. These pandals are beautifully decorated with lights, flowers, and artwork.
Installing the Idol: An idol of Goddess Durga, usually made of clay, is installed in the pandal. The idol represents the goddess and is adorned with traditional clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
Prayers and Offerings: Devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga during the puja. They chant mantras, recite hymns, and perform aarti (ritual of waving lamps) to seek the blessings of the goddess. Offerings such as flowers, fruits, sweets, and coconuts are made to the deity.
Cultural Performances: Durga Puja is not just a religious festival but also a celebration of art and culture. Cultural events such as music, dance performances, dramas, and recitations are organized in and around the pandals. These performances showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Dhunuchi Dance: Dhunuchi is a traditional dance form performed during Durga Puja. It involves dancing with a clay pot filled with burning incense. The dance is accompanied by rhythmic beats of drums and traditional music.
Sindoor Khela: On the last day of Durga Puja, married women participate in Sindoor Khela. They apply sindoor (vermilion) on each other's foreheads and playfully smear it on the goddess's idol as a symbol of married life and fertility.
Visarjan: On the final day of Durga Puja, the idol of Goddess Durga is taken in a procession and immersed in a water body, symbolizing her return to her celestial abode. This procession, known as Visarjan, is accompanied by music, dance, and enthusiastic devotees.
Tradition and customs of Durga Puja
Navratri customs can vary slightly depending on the region and community, but some important items and customs generally center around music, dance, food, worship, and fasting. Pandals are set up on the occasion of Navratri, where the idol of Mother Durga is installed. These pandals are decorated and adorned with flowers, leaves, and ornaments. In the Gujarati community, Navratri is celebrated with the performance of Garba and Dandiya Raas. People perform colorful dances incessantly with the music. At the end of Navratri, the idol of Maa Durga is immersed.
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