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Durga Puja 2017

Durga is a our famous goddess in the pantheon of Hindu deities specially among Bengal Culture. The Name in Sanskrit means the “unreachable or inaccessible.” Durga is an embodiment of Shakti or Power and is venerated as the Mother of the World and Universe. Maa Durga is a symbol of female strength in two aspects, the preserver of good and the destroyer of evil.

Maa Durga is addressed by multifarious names and worshiped in multiple avatars. Maa Durga has so many name from her worshipers like Uma meaning “the light”; Gauri meaning “the shining”; Parvati meaning “the mountain queen”; and Jagatmata meaning “the universal mother”; Kali meaning “the thunderous”; Chandi meaning “the fierce”; and Bhairavi meaning “the terrifying.”

Devi Durga is the divine consort of Shiva and is worshiped across West Bengal and as well as India in various forms corresponding to her dual and complementary aspects, preserver and benefactor of goodness as well as destroyer and eliminator of evil and wrongdoing.

Devi Durga’s most magnificent name is Simhavahin meaning “she who rides astride the lion”. She is usually enshrined in a depiction of an idol of rare beauty, adorned in rich red and golden sari laden with gold ornaments on her head and her body.

Her hair is long and luxuriant, open tresses and shining eyes as she rides astride a ferocious lion. On her head is a crown (karandamukut) and in her ten hands she holds different objects including a trishul or trident with which she kills the demon Mahishasur. That’s why Maa Durga is called “Mahishasur Mardini”

How Durga Puja is Solely Connected to me.

It is dawn and the residents of Kolkata, the city of joy are about to start their day. But the clay potters are found busy with making images in West Bengal. Do you know why they are busy? Yes, it is because Durga Puja 2017 is knocking at the door. The potters have no time to take a break at all as they have to complete the idols before the biggest festival of Bengali Hindus begins on October 7 this year.“We are used to working under rush during Durga Puja every year. From my childhood, I was a keen observer of my father’s work, and so I have excelled myself at making clay images. There are several steps to it. First of all, we make jora (combination of straw and ropes). Then we put clay on it and prepare the image based on the catalog given by the puja committee,” said 70-year-old Haripada Paul, a senior clay potter. It’s all fun for us.

Durga Puja 2017

Mythology of Durga Puja

Durga Puja is the Puja of Asurdalani Maa Durga, who had defeated the evil forces and brought peace and solidarity in the earth..

Durga Puja is one of the most famous and widely celebrated festivals of India. This celebration is a religious celebration  and marks the battle of goddess Durga with  powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura. This festival is actually the celebration for the victory of goddess Durga over the evil power Mahishasura. Every year this is celebrated throughout the country mostly in East India during the Month of September- October. Once you are here during this festival time don’t miss to be at Kolkata to participate in the grand celebration. Normally govt and also private clubs and other organisation both contribute to the decoration and lighting of the city. You will be amazed to see how beautifully artists decorate the Puja Pandals and the statue of Devi Durga.

Durga Puja 2017 is without Doubt the Most Famous with Largely Celebrated Festival in West Bengal, India. This celebration is a religious celebration  and marks the battle of goddess Durga with  powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura. This festival is actually the celebration for the victory of goddess Durga over the evil power Mahishasura. Every year this is celebrated throughout the country mostly in East India during the Month of September- October. Once you are here during this festival time don’t miss to be at Kolkata to participate in the grand celebration. Normally govt and also private clubs and other organisation both contribute to the decoration and lighting of the city. You will be amazed to see how beautifully artists decorate the puja pandals and the statue of Devi Durga.

The History of Durga Puja:

Durga Puja was first organised by the rich Bengali landowners or zamindars, in 1757 to honour and welcome Robert Clive . The man who initiated it was Raja Nabakrishna Deb of Calcutta.

After this a practice of elite people organizing their own household pujas became the norm but many common people were excluded from these festivities. By the early 20th century the concept of the public or community Puja had evolved called the “sarbojanin” Puja and this included people from all castes, creeds and ranks of life.

Puja became a great social leveler and a unifying force in the country. Today Durga Puja is an important socio-cultural event in the state and in the country.

Why Devi Durga has been Created by Other Gods?

A monster called Mahshahur had terrorized the world. He was half-man and half-demon. Neither Vishnu nor Shiva could vanquish him. Thus Shakti was invoked by them and Durga was created to battle Mahishasur.

Durga rode on a lion and carried several weapons in her several hands. Finally she killed Mahishasur and restored heaven back to the Gods. Since then she is seen as a symbol of the female strength and is venerated for the victory of good over evil. Even in the Vedas and Puranas, Durga has been mentioned as a deity worthy of reverence and adoration.

Devi Durga

How Durga Puja is Celebrated in West Bengal?

In the whole of India, Durga Puja is celebrated with gusto and faith throughout the country for ten days as the festival of Navratri beginning with Ekadashi and ending with Dussehra and especially so in West Bengal where it is a massive social event too. Different areas in the state celebrate public Puja ceremonies by forming committees of local residents who raise funds through donation and corporate sponsorship plus political involvement and investment.

Durga Puja 2017 Dates with Calendar

Durga Puja 2017 is Knocking at the Door. And All the Kolkatians eagerly waiting for the day when they can Start their Shopping. Pandal Hoping will also be Started after Few Days with Near and Dear Ones, Family Members. All in all, Durga Puja 2017 Dates are the perfect example of Unity & United Family, Friends together.

Here’s the Durga Puja 2017 Dates in Our very own Durga Puja Calendar:

Name of EventsDayDate of EventsRemarks
Mahalaya 2017Tuesday19 September 2017Mahalaya marks the beggining of Durga Puja.
Maha Panchami 2017Monday25 September 2017Maha Panchami is day that Unofficially marks the commencement of the Durga Puja.
Maha Sasthi 2017Tuesday26 September 2017Maha Shashti is the day of the unveiling of Goddess Durga
Maha Saptami 2017Wednesday27 September 2017Durga Puja Officially Starts from Maha Saptami
Maha Ashtami 2017Thursday28 September 2017Maha Ashtami is the time when Kolkatans start pandalhopping.
Maha Nabami 2017Friday29 September 2017All the rituals start from House Wives before the last day called Maha Nabami
Bijaya Dashami 2017Saturday30 September 2017Bijaya Dashami is the Day when Maa Durga Returns to her Place.

Idols and Pandals

This money goes into commissioning the gigantic idols of Durga, her children and Mahishasur that are created in a place called Kumartuli which is internationally famous for its artisans who make magnificent  idols out of mud and clay.

The next big expenditure is the construction of theme-based magnificent “pandals” or architectural outdoor canopies where the idols are kept. These canopies or “pandals” are temporary structures erected from bamboos and fibre glass.

Within these lights and chandeliers are fitted and the deity is housed upon a huge platform visible from miles beyond. Nowadays theme-based “pandals” on Harry Potter, monuments of the world, Doraemon, etc. are the rage and competitions called “Sharadiya Saamman” are organised by Asian Paints to give away the grand prize to the committee with the most creative and innovative puja pandal.

First Day of Durga Puja as Mahalaya

Mahalaya is considered to be the first day of Durga Puja, when Goddess Durga, the embodiment of feminine power and the victory of good over evil, is invited to descend to Earth by chanting hymns and singing mantras.  Mahalaya Tarpan in Ganges held every year, marks the beginning of Durga Puja 2017 all over the world. For Bengalies in Mahalaya pitripaksh ends, Debipaksh begins. On the same day, people go to the holy Ganges to do Tarpan, that is pay respect to the departed souls of father and ancestors. Different types of Tarpans are done on the day including pitri tarpan, matri tarpan, deb tarpan, etc.

Mahalaya is homecoming. According to the Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga who was married to Lord Siva returns to her paternal residence during the Puja, and this is the preparation for the welcome of the diving homecoming

Mahalaya marks the start of the ‘Devi-Paksha’ and the end of the ‘Pitri-Paksha’. The traditional six day countdown to Maha-saptami starts from Mahalaya. Goddess Durga visits the earth for only four days but seven days prior to the Pujas, starts the Mahalaya. It heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago“.

Goddess Durga starts her journey towards earth on the day of Mahalaya, i.e. on the first day of the Devi-Paksha. This day bears immense significance for the Bengalis. According to Puranas, King Suratha used to worship goddess Durga in spring. Thus Durga Puja was also known as Basanti Puja. But Rama advanced the Puja and worshiped Durga in Autumn and that is why it is known as ‘Akal Bodhon‘ or untimely worship. Rama is said to have performed Durga Puja just before he set for Lanka to rescue Sita from Ravana. It was considered untimely since Puja is performed when the Gods and Goddesses are awake (Uttarayan period) and not held when the Gods and Goddesses are in slumber (Dakshinayan Period). The eye is given to the idol of Devi Durga on this auspicious day.

The Main 4 Days of Durga Puja (Shoshthi to Nabami)

The last five days of the festival are most important. They are respectively called “Shoshthi”, Saptami”. “Ashthami”, “Nabami” and “Dashami”. Each of these days has a special puja and the evening has what is called “shondhi pujo.” The air is filled with the sound of “dhakis” or drummers playing a special drum and the priests chanting the holy mantras.

There is a special dance called “dhunuchi naach” with small containers of burning and fragrant coal and incense to perform the rituals before the goddess. It is believed that the more idols people visit, the more the goddess will be pleased to grant blessings upon the people.

So all over the state people visit various idols from early morning till late at night and call this “thakur darshan” or seeking the blessings of the deity.

The Final Day of Durga Puja means Bijoya Dashami

The entire atmosphere is festive, happy and spiritual. The concept is that Maa Durga has visited her parental home on Earth and on the tenth day or Dashami, she will be returned to the oceans to be united with her imperial consort Shiva.

That is why the idol is dressed in red and adorned with sindoor which is called “shringaar” or “boron” and then carried off for immersion which is called “visarjan”.

Bijoya Dashami has it’s own importance in this religious Festival. Bijoya means Victory in Bengali. This day is celebrated with mixed feelings, both with joy and sorrow. People are happy because they celebrate this day as Victory Day of Devi Durga and at the same time they are sad because it is the last day of the celebration. There is big rally from every Puja Pandal which carries the Devi Durga Statue to the river side for Visharjan. It is like a custom in India to have Jalapies (one Indian sweet) during the day of Bijoya Dashami. People wish each other Subho Bijoya (Happy Bijoya). Younger people touch the feet of elders and seek blessings and elders covey their love to younger ones.

How Durga Aarti can bring you Luck?

Without festivals India actually incomplete. India has more and more festivals. This all festivals are related with aarti because in India without aarti not a single hindu cultural festival is complete. In main festivals of India are Diwali, Durgapuja & Navratri, Holi. These are the biggest and main festival of India. Diwali is festival of light, Holi is festival of color and the Durgapuja is festival of aarti, because this festival celebration big part is aarti. Durgapuja and Navratri is 10 day festivals its end day called Dussera or Vijay Dashmi. Its start from pratipada and dashmi. First day of Durgapuja started with kalash sathapna and aarti. In that time 5 time aarti is important for every household and pandal. Mostly dhoop, deep, conch water, flower and hand fan aarti verry popular in durgapuja time. Nine days of navratri every day aarti perform with very respectly for Maa Durga. In bengali culture Mahaashtami (8thday of the festival) aarti is very important. This day every bengali people pray for their peacefull upcomming year. Dhunachi aarti is very popular cultural dance and also aarti are very important part of Durgapuja. Diwali is festival of light that day also Indian every house clebrate Diwali with worship of laxmi with dhoop and deep aarti, but Navratri & Durgapuja is festival or aarti. Mostly east and north part of India dhoop and deep aarti very popular this time. It is always perform as very traditional way. Dhunachi aarti is very femouse this festival and also Durgapuja sandhy aarti very famous. Eveyone wait for this festival for celebrate with aarti and feel happy for the full year. This time big panchapradeep and dhunachi aarti very popular part of Durgapuja and Navratri.

Kolkata is gearing up for Durga puja celebration. That’s why these hand-pulled rickshaws wore a festive look to participate in the 80-year-old Kashi Bose Durga puja event. Part of Kolkata’s colonial heritage, these rickshaws have got decked in cloth ruffles, tassels and rainbow-hued wheel spokes at the cost of Rs. 1.35 lakh. They will be plying across the city till October 19. Interestingly, foreigners can ride these rickshaws for free during the festive period.

rickshaws