A Festival of Rejoice: Durga Puja 2021 will begin on October 11 and will end on 15 October
After bidding goodbye to our beloved Lord Ganesha, it’s time to welcome Maa Durga. This year Durga Puja festivities will begin from October 11 ( Shasti) and will end on October 15 (Vijaya Dashmi). Durga Puja is the ceremonial worship of Maa Durga and it is celebrated with immense joy and zeal all across the Northern and Eastern parts of India. Apart from being a religious festival for Hindus, it is also an occasion for reunion and rejoice.
For Bengalis, Durga Puja celebrations are a four-day-long carnival, preparations for the same starts months in advance. Various cultural programmes like singing, poetry, dancing and painting competitions are organized every year on the occasion of Durga Puja.
History and Significance of celebrating Durga Puja 2021
Durga Puja Festival is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil as Maa Durga killed Buffalo demon Mahishasura on this day. The last four days Saptami, Asthami, Navmi and Dashmi are celebrated with utmost joy in India, especially in West Bengal. Nine days of Sharad Navaratri is dedicated to Maa Durga. Her different forms are worshipped during these nine days. Notably, Dussehra and Durga Puja are two different festivals which celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil.
In Bengali, the festival starts with ‘Annand Mela’ where ladies display homemade dishes in the pandal. On the Pooja days, devotees wake up early in the morning and fast until Durga Anjali that takes place early in the morning and after that, they break their fast.
A lot of delicious and mouth-watering dishes are served in Pandals. The ritualistic bhog consists of delicious Khichdi, Papad, Tomato Chutney, begun bhajja (eggplant fritters), and of course the Roshogolla. Food doesn’t end here. It offers you more food like Kebab, fried fish, biryani and various other sweet snacks.
Important Dates and their essence
- Mahalya 2021: 6th October 2021
- Maha Panchami 2021: 10 October 2021
- Maha Sahsti 2021: 11 October 2021
- Maha Saptami: 12 October 2021
- Maha Ashtami 2021: 13 October 2021
- Maha Navmi 2021: 14 October 2021
- Vijaya Dashami 2021: 15 October 2021
Mahalya: The first day of the celebration marks the advent of Maa Durga. The day that pays homage to one’s deceased family members. It is believed that on this day Maa Durga starts her journey.
Saptami: On Saptami, “Kola Bou” (Banana Plant) is worshipped and is placed beside Lord Ganesha. It signifies the arrival of his wife. Notably, nine plants are brought together and tied to the banana tree- each representing a goddess and they are collectively known as Kolabou.
Durga Ashtami: The main and the most important day of the festival. People offer flowers to goddess Durga and it is called ‘Pushapanjali’. Major rituals on the day include the sacrifice of bottle gourd symbolizing the end of Mahishasura.
Dashmi: ‘Shubho Vijayadashmi’: It is the final day of the celebration. Women play sindoor which is popularly known as Sindoor Khela to mark the victory of Maa Durga. Maa Durga is immersed with the promise ‘Asche bochhor abbar hobey” ( May the celebrations resume next year).
So, this year do not forget to seek the blessing of the goddess of Power of Prosperity, ‘Maa Durga’.