Durga Puja 2020 in India



Bengali community's most prevalent festival, Durga Puja is amongst India's famous festivals. In West Bengal and other eastern parts of India, devotees commemorate this festival with a lot of enthusiasm and happiness. It is a four-day celebration, devoted to Goddess Durga worship.


Durga Puja witnesses all the devotees indulging in various fun activities and enjoying themselves to the most. Durga Puja in West Bengal is typically observed in the period from September to October. The festival's launch is marked by Mahalaya, which happens seven days before the main festival. After seven days, the main festival takes place.


The festival includes Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and others. The idol of Maa Durga is submerged as the Puja ends that is on the day of Bijoya Dashmi. On Bijoya Dashmi Day, people get together and greet each other with enthusiasm and the youth seek blessings of the elderly.


The festival dates are decided on the basis of the lunar calendar. Durga Puja is celebrated in Navaratri and Dussehra during the last five days. Durga Puja will be held from 22 October until 26 October in 2020.


Enormous festivities and fanfare are held all around in West Bengal and in various parts of eastern India. Everyone gets together wearing new clothes and visit pandals and offer prayers to Durga Maa. There are plenty of Durga Pujas in all of Kolkata and other West Bengal towns. The pandals are built and ornamented as per the different themes and cultures.


In West Bengal, all banks, educational institutions, and market houses remain closed to celebrate Durga Puja. Family, associates, and wishers of goodwill exchange gifts among themselves. Industries and corporate houses deliver presents as a gesture of goodwill to customers and employees.


During this time, the main shopping sale takes place too.  Thousands of people take up the streets and take pleasure in the festivities. During the festival, families come together to enjoy authentic Bengali cuisine.


Including Kolkata, Durga Puja is also observed in other locations including Siliguri, Guwahati, Mumbai, Patna, Jamshedpur, and Bhubaneswar and so on with large fanfare. Several non-residential Bengali cultural groups organize Durga Puja in various locations in the U.S., UK, Australia, Germany, France, Kuwait and other nations.


Durga Maa is invited to the Earth so that people can worship her on the day of Mahalaya, a week before Durga Puja. In 2020, however, Mahalaya falls on September 17— an unparalleled 35 days before the festival begins. The auspicious ritual of Chhoku Daan is held on Mahalaya to unveil the idol of Durga Maa.


After installation of Goddess Durga's statues, a ceremony is held on Saptami to evoke her divine spirit within them. This ritual is known as Pran Pratisthan which includes wrapping a banana plant (Kola Bou) in a saree and bathing it in a river. This is done so that the plant bears the energies of Durga Maa. This takes place on 23 October in 2020.


Devotees offer prayers, sweets, saree, and Srinagar to Durga Maa on all the days. Goddess Durga is worshiped on Ashtami in the shape of a virgin child, in a ceremony, called the Kumari Puja. The word Kumari is derived from Sanskrit Kaumarya, meaning "virgin." Girls are adorned as a demonstration of heavenly female vigor, with the goal of evolving women's purity and divinity in society. Goddess Durga's divinity is believed to descend to the puja after the child. It takes place on 24 October in 2020.


It is customary for the devotional Dhunuchi folk dance to be held in front of the Goddess after the evening aarti ceremony on Ashtami, to honor her. Women perform this dance clutching an earthen pot filled with burning coconut husk and camphor along with the beats of the drum.


During Nabami, adoration is completed with a Maha aarti (great rite of fire), which marks the end of important rituals and prayers. This takes place on 25 October in 2020.


Durga goes to her husband's place of residence on the last day, and the laws are taken for immersion. Married women offer the goddess red vermillion powder and spread it on themselves (this powder denotes marriage status, and thus childbearing and fertility).


The Durga Puja festival is a dramatic and highly social event. There are loosely held theater, dance, and community events. Food is a major part of the festival, and market stalls thrive in Kolkata. In the evenings, Kolkata's streets fill with people who come to worship, eat and celebrate the statues of Goddess Durga.


In Delhi, travel to Chittaranjan Park (Delhi's mini Kolkata), Minto Avenue, and also to Kashmere Gate's oldest traditional Durga Puja, on Alipur Road. The must-see pandals at Chittaranjan Park includes Kali Bari (Kali Mandir), B Block, and one near Market 2.



Durga Puja is common in Assam and Tripura (in northeastern India), as well as Odisha. If you wish to celebrate Durga Puja, you should definitely travel to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in Odisha to witness Durga idols ornamented with delicate work of silver and gold, a local specialty. 

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