Durga Puja 2016
Durga Puja marks Goddess Durga’s visit to her parents’ home, along with her children, Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The festival takes place in the month of Ashwin or Kartik, that is, in the months of September or October, also known by the name of Durgotsava.
Goddess Durga arrives on Horse on the Earth on the first day of Devi Paksh and departs on Charanayudha on Durga Visarjan Day. The five days during Durgotsava are Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashmi.
Durga Puja Days Calendar in 2016:
Day 1: 7th October ( Friday ) Ashnin 21, 1423 ~ Shashthi
Bilva Nimantran Kalparambha, Akal Bodhon Amantran and Adhivas
Day 2: 8th October ( Saturday ) Ashnin 22, 1423 ~ Saptami
Navapatrika Puja Kolabou Puja
Day 3: 9th October ( Sunday ) Ashnin 23, 1423 ~Ashtami
Durga Ashtami Kumari Puja, Sandhi Puja
Day 4: 10th October ( Monday ) Ashnin 24, 1423 ~Navami
Maha Navami Durga Balidan, Navami Homa
Day 5: 11th October ( Tuesday ) Ashnin 25, 1423 ~Dashami
Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami Sindoor Utsav
It is the biggest festival of the year for Bengalis – they worship Goddess Durga, who, holding ten weapons in her ten hands, finally triumphs over the demon, Mahishasura, thereby signifying victory of good over evil.
The festival lasts for five days – people get up early, bathe and fast so that they can offer flowers or ‘pushpanjali’ in the mornings on all days, ‘Aarti’ is performed daily before the deity, to the rhythmic beat of the ‘dhak’, a type of drum played by skilled drummers. Huge decorative temporary structures called ‘pandals’are constructed housing the most beautiful idols, followed by community lunches and cultural functions.
On the last day of the festival, streets leading to the water bodies are crowded with onlookers who watch the numerous idols being taken for immersion. After this, in a tradition called ’Bijaya’ greetings are exchanged and sweets are offered to one another.