Durga Puja is a major festival for Bengalis, which is mainly celebrated in Assam and Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha, Odisha and Bihar. This festival celebrates Goddess Durga winning over Mahishasura, a demon. It’s a 10-day celebration, but the last five days are the most important. Deities such as Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Ganesha are also worshipped.
when is durga puja in 2021?
Here are the dates for Durga Puja in 2021.
Name of the Day & Day Date
Mahalaya Wednesday 6 October 2021
Maha Panchami Sunday 10 October 2021
Maha Sashti Monday 11 October 2021
Maha Saptami Tuesday 12 October 2021
Maha Ashtami Wednesday 13 October 2021
Maha Navami Thursday 14 October 2021
Vijaya Dashami Friday 15 October 2021
States where Durga Pujas are celebrated: Uttar Pradesh (Bihar), West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, Punjab (Andhra Pradesh), Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra (Himanchal Pradesh).
Maha Saptami (Mahalaya), Maha Ashtami (Maha Ashtami), Maha Navami (Maha Navami), and Vijayadashami are the most important days of the festival. These are the most important days of Durga Puja’s 2021 festival.
Durga Puja: Significance
According to Hindu mythology, this festival marks the return of Goddess Durga and her children to their natal home. Durga Puja begins with Mahalaya. This marks Durga’s return to her home. The puja actually begins at “Maha Sashthi”, the sixth day when devotees greet the Goddess with pomp, gusto and fervor. Durga’s deity will be unveiled to the public on this day. The “dhakis”, a type of drum associated with Bengali culture and puja, perform several rituals.
The beginning of Maha Saptami is marked on the 7th day. A banana tree is immersed into the water on this day just before dawn. The ceremonial bath is completed. After that, the tree, or “Kolabou” in Bengali, is covered in a saree with a red border and placed on Ganesha’s right-side. This implies that “Kolabou” is actually Ganesha’s bride. However, historians and cultural revisionists differ on the matter. Some believe that “Kolabou” is another representation Durga. They refute the notion that “Kola Bou”, is Ganesha’s bride.
Another view is that “Kola Bou”, a symbol of nine different types of plants, is another way to look at it. Before performing the ritual, priests tie eight plants to the trunk of the banyan trees. The nine leaves together make “Kola Bou”, which is often considered the plant form Durga.
“Maha Ashtami”, which marks the 8th puja, is believed to be the day when “Mahisasura” was defeated by the Goddess. Prayers can be offered in the form “Anjali”, while feasts are organized in different locations. Khichdi is prepared along with other delicious delicacies on this day.
The 9th day is known as Maha Navami. Maha Navami begins as soon as the “Sandhi Puja’ ends. As a closing ritual, Maha Aarti will be performed. People flock to Maha Aarti in large numbers, creating huge queues.
Durga Puja ends on the 10th day, or “Maha Dashami”. Durga and all the deities are immersed into the Ganga on this day. Married women participate in Sindoor Khela, where they rub vermillion on one another’s faces before the immersion. Huge procession are common on the day of immersion (also known as “Visarjan”). To celebrate the spirit and joy of the puja, people cheer up and dance on the streets. Following the immersion, it is a common custom for people to visit their relatives and wish them “BijoyaDashami”.
What is Durga Puja?
During the puja, schools, colleges, government offices, and other institutions are closed. Just after Mahalaya, puja-goers indulge in shopping. Most shops offer discounts during this time of year on clothing and other products. Men wear Kurta Pajamas on “Maha Ashtami”, while women dress in sarees.
Cultural events are held in various locations, while puja organizers compete with each other through the use of theme-based puja pandals. Durga Puja’s beauty is its ability to tell a story through its art and decorations. For the stunning artwork and decor, people queue up to get in the pandal.
There are food stalls set up at every corner, while special Durga Puja dishes can be prepared in restaurants. Different lights are used to create a festive atmosphere on the streets. To keep traffic flowing smoothly, more police officers are on the streets than usual.
Durga Puja, the largest festival of the Bengali community, is Durga Puja. The festival is not only about the celebrations but also a time for family reunions. This is a time for people to come together and celebrate unity. Durga Puja celebrates humanity’s spirit and transcends religious boundaries.
Festive Traditions & Activities
On the eve Durga puja, many exciting festive events are organized. These are some of the highlights:
Establishment of “pandals”: A “Pandal” is a place where Goddess Durga’s idol is kept. The pandal is where all the prayers and rituals are performed. Before the puja begins, magnificent pandals will be set up. The architecture of some of the most iconic buildings in the world is reproduced. Also, new designs are created.
Street food stalls – Alongside pandals there are many food stalls that sell street food, including golgappas, bajjis, and samosas.
Shopping: According to tradition, some states like West Bengal have new clothes every day.
Get detailed information about the Festival of Durga Puja
Durga puja, one of the most celebrated festivals in India, lasts for over a week. Every day is unique and there are many activities that can be done. These include:
Maha Shashti – According to mythology, Maha Shashti marks the day Goddess Durga and her four children, Goddess Saraswati (Deity Laxmi), Lord Ganesha (Lord Kartikeya) landed on Earth. The idol of Goddess Durga’s face is revealed on the eve Maha Shashti. On this day, the rituals are ‘Amontron’, ‘Bodhon” and ‘Adhibash”. Drums called ‘Dhaak’, which are blasted to announce the arrival of Goddess Durga all around, are known as “Dhaak”.
Maha Saptami is the Maha puja, which is performed on the eve Maha Saptami. A banana tree is immersed in holy water just before sunrise. Then, it is covered with a new scarf like a newlywed woman. This is called ‘Kola bou’ or ‘Nabapatrika’. The idol of Goddess Durga is kept in the banana tree. Nine plants, representing the 9 forms Goddess Durga’s, are also kept.
Maha Ashtami, as per mythology, is the day Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura (also known as the Buffalo devil’). To mark the occasion, a buffalo was sacrificed in ancient times. People offer prayers and chant Sanskrit hymns. These prayers are called ‘Anjali’. Girls younger than nine years old are represented as Goddess Durga, and are worshipped. This is called ‘Kumari puja. The ‘Sandhi Puja’ follows.
Maha Navami is when the ‘Sandhi puja” ends. On the eve or Maha Navami, the ‘Maha arati’ is performed. The organisers of recreational activities follow, and then everyone is served the ‘bhog.
Maha Dashmi: The idol of Goddess Durga, is immersed in holy water from the river Ganges on the eve Maha Dashami. Processions are performed by worshippers riding on trucks, accompanied by dancing and the beating of drums. Women who are married throw vermillion at each other during the procession. People visit their homes and wish each other ‘Vijoy Dahmi’ in the evening. You can also prepare special food dishes.
In different Indian States, Durga Puja is celebrated
Each state celebrates Durga puja differently. These are some of the examples:
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: Durga Puja celebrations in Uttar Pradesh (and Bihar) are very similar. Locals from both states organize the feeding of small girls on the last day. Temples also have the opportunity to recite the scripture “Durga Saptashati”.
Assam & West Bengal: Grand pandals with different themes are set up in Assam and West Bengal. The festival ends with the immersion of the idol in the holy Ganges.
Gujarat: The festival of Durga Puja in Gujarat is known as Navratri. Locals perform the famous dance ‘garba’ at night-time events.
Tamil Nadu: Locals celebrate Tamil Nadu’s festival by worshipping the goddesses Durga and Saraswathi. Young girls from Tamil Nadu display wooden dolls in a unique tradition. This ritual is called Golu.
Punjab: Every night, the ‘Jaagrans’ are held during the Durga puja celebrations. Young girls aged 5-10 years old are treated to food, money, and gifts on the eve Ashtami.
Andhra Pradesh: The festival is observed in Andhra Pradesh on the eve. Married women worship Goddess Gauri, and unmarried couples pray for their spouse. Bathukamma Panduga is the name of Andhra Pradesh’s Durga puja. The women make flower stacks for worship and then immerse them in the river.
Chhattisgarh – The festival is celebrated by the locals in Chhattisgarh for 75 days. Bastar, a village in Chhattisgarh is well-known for having celebrated the festival over 500 years.
Karnataka: Dussehra is the Karnataka festival that celebrates Durga puja. The festival is celebrated in Mysore.
Maharashtra: On the eve, Maharashtra people play Garba. At the festival of Durga puja, it is considered lucky to complete business deals or buy property.
Himachal Pradesh: When the festival is ending in other parts of the country, the locals of Himachal Pradesh begin the celebrations. Dhalpur Maidan is a famous celebration in Kullu Valley.
Durga puja, which is one of the most important festivals in this country, is celebrated. It is celebrated everywhere, from Himachal, in the north, to Tamil Nadu, in the south.