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Why Is Basanti Durga Puja Celebrated?

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Basanti Durga Puja is the celebration of Durga Puja during the spring time. It is a huge celebration in the eastern parts of India and especially in West Bengal. Basanti Durga puja coincides with the Vasant or Chaitra Navratri celebrations. If you are confused that why Durga puja is celebrated in the spring time then let us tell you about the origin of the festival.

Scriptures say that originally Durga puja was performed during spring time. However when Lord Ram invoked the Goddess untimely (Akal Bodhan) during autumn or Sharad, people started following the suit. Hence the autumnal or Sharadiya Durga puja became more popular than the original celebration of Basanti Durga puja.

SYMBOLISM OF GODDESS DURGA'S TEN HANDS

But Basanti Durga puja still remains a grand celebration in Bengal. The same rituals and traditions are followed during Basanti Durga puja like the Sharadiya Durga puja. Read on to find out about the origin of the Basanti Durga puja.

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Origin Of Basanti Durga Puja

According to the legends, once there was a king named Surath. It is believed that it was king Surath who performed the first ever Durga puja in Spring after being instructed by a sage named Medha.

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Origin Of Basanti Durga Puja

As per the story in Markanda Purana, once king Surath lost his kingdom and was forced to wander in the jungle for years. During his exile, king Surath met another exiled king named Samadhi Vaishya. Both the kings had lost their kingdoms and were in a fix as to what is to be done. It is when they met sage Medha who suggested them to invoke Goddess Durga to help them. The sage suggested both the kings to perform the Basanti Durga puja.

Thus, both king Surath and Samadhi Vaishya performed the Basanti Durga puja and regained their lost kingdoms. Hence, Durga puja came to be celebrated during the spring time until later Lord Ram performed the untimely worship of the Goddess during autumn.

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Rituals Of Basanti Durga Puja

The rituals of Basanti Durga puja is similar to the Sharadiya Durga puja. The only difference is in the 'Ghat' or the earthen pot which is not used in the Sashti puja (sixth day worship) of Basanti Durga puja because it is the timely worship of the Goddess. But the 'Ghat' or pot is essential for the worship during autumn.

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Rituals Of Basanti Durga Puja

On the eighth day of the celebration, a little girl is dressed up like Goddess Durga and worshipped in the same way as the idol. This ritual is known as the Kumari Puja which is actually to honour and celebrate womanhood.

Pic Courtesy: Twitter

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Rituals Of Basanti Durga Puja

The ninth day happens to be Lord Ram's birthday and hence it is also observed as the Ram Navami.

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Rituals Of Basanti Durga Puja

The puja is performed for a period of five days. On the last day people pay their farewell to the Goddess by feeding her sweets and dancing as the idols are carried for immersion.

Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons & Twitter

Read more about: navratri durga
Story first published: Friday, April 4, 2014, 15:12 [IST]
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