Durga Puja is a popular festival celebrated in different parts of India. The festival is celebrated in worship of the Divine Mother -Durga who has various forms.
There are a number of ways that Durga Puja is celebrated across India and all the styles of celebration are very different from each other. It is believed the Durga Maa is an easy Goddess to please and always grants her followers what they need.
The idol of Goddess Durga represents protection of good and destruction of evil. It also gives a lesson to all to keep their animal instincts in control in order to become divine. Worshipping Goddess Durga should lead to destructing all desires and attain divinity. While Goddess Durga is worshipped for nine days in Bengal, a different form of worship takes place in South India. Here people decorate a platform with animals, small images of Gods, bird and other inanimate and animate beings. The people in South India call this altar ‘The Kolu’.
This day also marks the start of a child learning the alphabet. The child undergoes a ceremony known as ‘Aksarabhyasa’. Apart from children beginning to learn on this day, it also marks other forms of learning. Gifts are offered to teachers and their blessings are taken in return.
Durga Puja is celebrated across 6 days and each day has a special significance.
This marks the beginning of the festival of Durga Puja. It is believed that this is the day Maa Durga descends on Earth. All followers should chant prayers and sing devotional songs to please her.
It is on this day that Maa Durga will arrive into the mortal world during the eve of the Puja. She will be accompanied with her children. The idols face will be unveiled during this ceremony.
On this day, followers will worship a total of 9 different kinds of plants together. This is also in respect to her various avatars.
On this day, devotees will chant devotional songs and prayers to the Goddess.
This is the concluding day for the Durga Puja.
Dashami & Vijaya
This is the last day of the festival where the idol of Durga Maa is taken to a nearby water body and immersed.
Durga Puja 2016 Dates, Calender in India
- September 30, 2016 – Shubho Mahalaya
- October 7, 2016 – Maha Sashti
- October 8, 2016 – Maha Saptami
- October 9, 2016 – Maha Ashtami or Mahashtami
- October 10, 2016 – Mahanabami or Mahanavami
- October 11, 2016 – Vijaya Dasami or Vijayadashami