Durga Puja is the festival celebrated in autumn. It commemorates the victory of good over evil. It is also known as Sharodotsav. This festival summons up the divine power of Goddess “Shakti” (power), who defeats the power of the evil, named “Mahishasura” and restores sanctity and harmony in the world. Goddess Shakti is symbolized by Goddess Durga and worshiped all over the world. Apart from Goddess Durga, we worship her two sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya and two daughters, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati. It is one such festival that every Bengali looks forward to. Here are the top 5 things every Bengali does during Durga Puja.
1. Worshiping Goddess Durga
The main essence of celebrating this festival is worshiping the godly power, which reigns the world. It assures that no matter how much the world gets captivated by the evil power, she is there to protect us. This festival is celebrated for four days. Bengalis refer them as Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami. People take bath in the mornings and offer pushpanjali (worshipping with flowers) to the Goddess. The celebration is incomplete without the sound of Dhak (musical instrument) and Dhunuchi (incense burner) dance. It is the festival, which reconnects family and friends.
2. Shopping for Durga Puja
One of the main things every Bengali does during the festival is shopping. Buying new dress and wearing them every day are the major attractions of this festival. Markets get over flown with flocks of people three to four months prior to this festival. New fashion crops up. People look forward to new hairstyles, makeup trends and fashionable attires. Individuals irrespective of age, sex and occupation look forward to the celebration of this grand festival. This imparts a memorable tug to the heart of every Bengali.
3. Pandal Hopping
This is the next best thing done by every Bengali. Wonderful pandals (tent) and mandaps (stage) are set across the streets and clubs. These pandals are decorated with beautiful craft works, wood works and handicrafts. Various innovative styles and designs are used to decorate them. Also, the idols of the Gods and Goddesses are decorated beautifully with innovative styles and designs. And, people do pandal hopping day and night just to enjoy the beautiful creativity. Friends unite together and families get together to enjoy these four days.
4. Making Sweets
Yet another major attraction of Durga Puja is making sweets. Women of every household make various sweets. The common one is the sweet made from the coconut. And, it is known as “Narkel Naru”. Every woman sits together, sing songs and prepare these sweets. The ambiance gets filled with too much joy, fun and exuberance.
5. Sindoor Khela
Last but not the least, is the “Sindoor Khela”. This is one of the major attractions of this festival. This is celebrated on the last day of the festival. Every married woman goes to bid adieu to Goddess Durga for a year. She prays for the well being of her family for the entire one year. And then, they apply sindoor to other married women in the pandal. They greet each other with a lot of affection. The air around gets filled with purity and holiness.
Durga Puja is just knocking the door. Celebrate this Sharodotsav with so much fun, excitement, happiness and love. Let this festival destroy the evil and make goodness rule the world once again. A Very Happy Durga Puja to One and All.