Durga pooja is something that is the best part of me being a Bengali. There is so much to talk about Bengali culture and history.
Durga Pooja is around the corner and let's talk about the history and celebration and this year's shopping.
Durga Puja the ceremonial worship of the mother goddess, is one of the most important festivals in India.
Apart from being a religious festival for the Hindus, it is also an occasion for reunion and rejuvenation, and a celebration of traditional culture and customs.
While the rituals entail ten days of fast, feast, and worship, the last four days—Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami—are celebrated with much gaiety and magnificence in India and abroad, especially in Bengal, where the ten-armed goddess riding the lion is worshipped with great passion and devotion.
Durga Puja is celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Ashwin (September-October) and honours Prince Rama's devotion to the goddess before going to war with the demon king Ravana. This fall ritual was different from the conventional Durga Puja, which is usually celebrated in the springtime.
Thus goes the story of Lord Rama, who first worshipped the 'Mahishasura Mardini' or the slayer of the buffalo demon, by offering 108 blue lotuses and lighting 108 lamps, at this time of the year.
Origin and History
The origin of the community puja can be credited to the twelve friends of Guptipara in Hoogly, West Bengal, who collaborated and collected contributions from residents to conduct the first community puja called the 'baro-yaari' puja, or the 'twelve-pal' puja, in 1790.
The baro-yaari puja was brought to Kolkata in 1832 by Raja Harinath of Cossimbazar, who performed the Durga Puja at his ancestral home in Murshidabad from 1824 to 1831, notes Somendra Chandra Nandy in 'Durga Puja: A Rational Approach' published in The Statesman Festival, 1991.