Durga Puja is the main festival of Bengalis, which is celebrated all over the country with great zest and fervor. The festival is also rejoiced as Navratri and Dussehra in other parts of the country. Durga Puja continues for 5 days and each day is called by a different name.
This article is here to enlighten you on the significance of the five days of Durga puja.
Durga Puja is one of the most popular festivals of India, in which God is revered as a mother (or Maa). It is only in Hinduism that God has been given the same rank as that of a mother.
The relationship with your mother is one of the most sweetest and adorable relations among all the other relations in this world. This is the reason why God is regarded as mother and hence the main deity of this festival is known as Maa Durga (or Durga Maa).
Greetings to the heavenly mother, Maa Durga subsists in all human beings in the form of mercy, intelligence and beauty and is the companion of God Shiva (the one who creates, maintains and devastates the universe).
The article highlights the significance of all the 5 days of Durga Puja so read all about it here. It includes the particular rituals and customs that are associated with each of the 5 days of Durga Puja.
On this day, Maa Durga is worshipped who rides on a lion and descends on the earth and her 4 children Saraswati, Laxmi, Ganesha and Kartikeya also accompany her. On Shashti, Maa Durga's face is disclosed, and prior to the main puja, some special rituals such as Amontron, Bodhon and Adibash are executed. The melodies of Dhaak (a kind of drum) with jolly mood marks the arrival of Maa Durga everywhere.
Maha Saptami is the day when the Maha Puja starts. On this very day, just before the crack of dawn, a banana tree is immersed in sacred water and thereafter it is adorned with a sari just like a newly married bride, this is popularly known as "Kola Bou" or "Nabapatrika". The Kola Bou is then carried to the stage and is placed next to the idol of Ganesha where all the priests worship Maa Durga for good luck. Moreover, 9 plants are also venerated which represent the 9 forms of Goddess Durga.
As per the legends, Maha Ashtami is the day when Maa Durga slew the buffalo devil "The Mahishasura". In the olden times, a buffalo was surrendered in order to mark the conclusion of wickedness. People present their prayers to Maa Durga in the form of "Anjali", which are hymns in Sanskrit language. On this very day, "Kumari Puja" is also performed. In Kumari Puja, a girl whose age is nine years or less is bedecked as Maa Durga. Thereafter, this girl is worshiped with a lot of devotion and showy display. Sandhi Puja is performed in the evening, which is the combination of Maha Ashtami as well as the Maha Navami.
As soon as the Sandhi Puja concludes, Maha Navami begins and is completed by the execution of "Maha Arati". A myriad of recreational activities are organised by various Durga Puja Committees, after which the Navami Bhog is served.
The last day of Durga Puja is the "Maha Dashami". On this day, the idol of Maa Durga is immersed in the sacred river of Ganga. This act is called "The Visarjan of Devi Durga". On the day of Visarjan, the goddess is carried with splendid processions on the roads. People sing and dance while moving with the procession. All married women throw vermilion on each other; this is popularly known as "The Sindoor Khela".
After the submersion of Maa Durga everybody comes back to their abodes and in the evening, they go to their friends and relatives houses to wish "Bijoya Dashami" to each other. To celebrate this occasion, a variety of sweets and other scrumptious dishes are prepared and relished.