Durga Puja in Kolkata
Durga Puja is the biggest Hindu festival in West Bengal. For
Durga Puja, there is five day annual holiday in West Bengal. It
is the most significant social event in Kolkata, the capital of
West Bengal. Durga Puja is also known as Durgotsab in Bengali.
The importance of Durga Puja increased during the British rule.
The tradition of community Puja gained popularity in the latter
half of 20th century. The present day celebration of Durga Puja
in Kolkata include construction of decorated pavilions called
pandal where, the artistically made statue of the goddess Durga
is kept for Puja.
During Durga Puja Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord karthikeya,
goddess Lakshmi, goddess Saraswati, and goddess Durga is
worshipped. Durga Puja is celebrated in the month of Ashwin from
the sixth to tenth day after full moon. The pujas are conducted
for ten days and it is believed that goddess Parvati from whom
Durga was created by Vishnu, Shiva and, Brahma is visiting her
fatherís house in Himalayas, with her four children during the
days of puja.
People wear new clothes, exchange sweet meats and gifts during
Durga puja. In the evenings people will visit the idols kept in
the decorated pandal. In Kolkata it is like a carnival attended
by people from different communities and different backgrounds.
The idol of the goddess is kept on a special stage inside the
pandal. The idol of Durga is usually made as sitting on a lion
with ten hands and weapons in all her hands. People offer
flowers to the idol starting from sixth to tenth day of the
Durga festival. Ritual drummers perform their skills during the
puja. On the tenth day goddess returns to her husband Shiva
after getting ritualized by the immersion of the idol in to
river water. This day is known as Bijoya Dasami in Bengali.
Durga Puja is the worship of good things in life, which can win
over the evilness.
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