Durga Puja Celebrations In West Bengal
One might have seen the extravagant frenzy of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and have obviously felt the craze of Diwali in North India. But if you have not experienced West Bengal during Durga Puja, then you have not truly immersed into the madness of the City Of Joy. During the entire period post ‘Mahalaya’, the Durga Puja Celebration fever grips the heart of everyone in the state regardless of age, caste and gender. The entire state of West Bengal welcomes Goddess Durga and her children, along with the mighty demon mighty demon Mahishasura with open arms and hearts filled with incomprehensible emotions of togetherness. The streets of Kolkata constantly witness waves of darshanarthis or ‘Pandal - hopping Pilgrims’ dressed in the best possible way they can. Apart from the religious rituals, Durga Puja in west Bengal has it's own trademark features that makes it all the more exclusive
The Idols :
The Idols of Durga and her children is obviously the most important part of the grand event. Durga in her full avatar appears stabbing Mahishasura’s torso while riding the Lion. To her left stand Saraswati and Kartik and to her right is Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Ganesha's two wives in the form of two banana trunks. There would also be an image of Shiva above Durga. The whole structure or frame is called a Chala.
The Chokkudan :
One of the oldest and most interesting phenomenon is the Chokkudan or the offering of the eye of Goddess Durga. Generally, it takes around 3 to 4 months to make a Durga Chala. The final stroke of the paint makes the eyes of Durga. This ritual is supposed to done in complete darkness and in the presence of only one sculptor and no one else.
Ashtami Pushpanjali :
No bengali misses the Pushpanjali or flower offering on the eighth day of the festival, Ashtami. You can be anywhere in Kolkata in the morning of Ashtami and see how people, even strangers, come together and offer flowers to Goddess Durga, whom they consider as Maa or mother.
The Theme Puja Pandals :
Bedecked in all their finery, the pandals during Durga Puja in West Bengal will give the biggest artists in the world a run for their money. From color coordination to perfect thematic creations, from innovative designs to award winning idol moulding – the pandals during Durga Puja are a pleasing sight for sore eyes. The grandeur of Kolkata is lit up brighter thanks to the incredible light decoration all over the place.
Barowari Puja :
Barir pujo or the traditional goddess worships in the old dilapidated mansions of North Kolkata are what Durga Puja used to look like about a hundred years ago. A visit to any of these barowari pujos will leave you crying for more as it brings together all the traditions and authenticity that is so hard to find nowadays.
Kumari Puja :
Goddess Durga is worshipped in many forms during the festival. One of the most famous forms being that of Kumari. A girl with a bright disposition and aged between one to sixteen years is selected beforehand. On the day of Ashtami, the girl is worshipped in front of the Durga idol. This ritual is considered as the purest form of worship. One of the most famous Kumari Pujas is the one that Swami Vivekananda started at Belur Math in Howrah that continues till date with grandeur.
Sandhya Arati :
The days of Durga Puja do not follow 12 to 12 clock system. One day changes to another in the evening. Every evening of Durga Puja is a grand festival in itself. Drums, bells and brasses welcomes the new day with dance and especially, the dhunuchi naach. Sandhya Arati or the Evening Offering is an integral part of the rituals. The chant and incantations continue till next morning.
The Food :
The whole India might swear to non-veg food, but West Bengal overdoses with so many variety of meat and seafood that you are left with a permanent feeling of overeating at all times. Be it street food, special offers in famous restaurants or homemade delicacies - no one goes hungry.
The Crowd :
This is one time of the year that all the Bengalis get a surge of Adrenaline rush which lasts throughout a week of madness. Nights are meant for cruising in the jampacked streets in search of food, or the nearest pandal, or just aimlessly in the company of friends. Staying up till the wee hours of dawn, then dropping off home for a power nap and getting ready for the next day is the norm during Durga Puja.
Sindur Khela :
Dashami, a word that fills every Bengali’s heart with sadness, is the last day of sadness. On this day, random friendships are formed when married woman gather at puja pandals and smear vermilion (sindoor) on each other’s faces. This ritual marks the farewell of Goddess Durga.
The streets of West Bengal change on the last day of Durga Puja. Thousands of processions, millions of people throng the roads and the traffic gets into a tizzy. Goddess Durga bids adieu to her family and sets off for the Himalayas. The idols are immersed into the river, heads first. A ritual of family reunion takes place following the immersion. Every Bengali household hosts gatherings and exchange sweets and gifts with their loved ones. You can also send sweets, chocolates dry fruits etc. as gifts to India same day delivery with this trusted online shopping portal.
As we worship the Goddess Durga and her children on her annual trip to earth, the festival transcends all religious barriers and becomes more of a cultural celebration than a religious ritual, that people pertaining to any set of belief can lose themselves in. Treat your loved ones with wonderful gifts on this Durga Puja while sending gifts to India from this reliable online shopping portal where you will get many Durga Puja gift Ideas.