Durga Puja 2023: Time to Indulge in Worship and Ultimate Feast
Devotees are prepared to celebrate the holidays as the season approaches. You will recall back-to-back fiestas and dive into worship and purity in October, the month of festivals. Durga Puja is one of the important holidays you'll experience in October.
People have seen Durga Puja celebrations since the late 1970s. For this puja, or Sharod Utsav, the Bengali Hindu community gathers as a family to celebrate. The Maa Durga statue is brought to the site in the morning and placed there before the start of the joyous festival moods.
The holiday is frequently celebrated on the weekends, and in 2023, Durga Puja will be celebrated starting on October 1, which is a Saturday. The first puja begins on Friday night, and is followed by supper and cultural performances by locals. Devotees organise Pushpanjali on Saturdays, which is followed by an evening puja, dinner, and other cultural performances at the 'Puja Bari.' With Shati Jal, Baran, and Sindoor Khela, the auspicious festival is concluded on a Sunday afternoon.
Delicious treats are prepared by community members with the guests' fervent approval. People continue to be in awe of the delicious cuisine and the festival festivities even after the pujas have concluded.
The devotees invite newcomers to participate and enjoy the charm of Durga Puja 2023 during those days. Learn about the significance of this festival and its important days, such as Mahalaya, Durga Ashtami, Saptami, etc., if you wish to enjoy the magical time of Durga Puja in 2023.
When is Durga Puja in 2023?
To commemorate the return of Goddess Durga and her offspring, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, and Kartik, people celebrate Durga Puja. Durga Puja, sometimes referred to as Durgotsav, is observed continuously for five days. On the fourth day of Navratri, it starts (Mahalaya). As a result, eight days of festivities will be observed: Mahalaya, Maha Panchami, Maha Sasthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami, and Vijay Dashami.
The Key Days During Durga Puja 2023
The major Durga Puja celebration dates are as follows, in case you are already at the pandal taking in the festive atmosphere. If you don't want to miss anything, be ready and arrive at the Durga Puja pandals on time.
The celebrations for Durga Puja 2023 will start on October 14th:
Name of the Day
14 October 2023
15 October 2023
16 October 2023
21 October 2023
22 October 2023
23 October 2023
24 October 2023
How is Durga Puja Celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated with all the pomp and joy across India, and just after Mahalaya, people indulge in puja shopping. Most stores provide discounts on clothing and other items at this time of year. Men typically dress in Kurta pyjamas on 'Maha Ashtami,' while ladies typically wear sarees.
Many locations have cultural events, and puja organisers compete with one another by creating theme-based amazing puja pandals. Every pandal has a narrative to tell through its artwork and furnishings, which is one of the charms of Durga Puja. Visitors wait in line merely to enter the pandal so they can admire the exquisite artwork and furnishings.
There are food stands set up everywhere, and restaurants cook special Durga Puja delicacies. To create a festive atmosphere, different lights are used to decorate the streets.
This festival is the Bengali community's largest traditional event. In addition to the festivities, the event necessitates a family gathering. During this period, people put aside their differences and unite to celebrate unity. All in all, Durga Puja honours the human spirit and crosses religious boundaries.
Significance of Durga Puja
Durga Puja is a ten-day long festival celebrated in India, particularly in the state of West Bengal. Each day of the festival holds a significant meaning and is dedicated to the worship of a different form of the goddess Durga. The following are the significance of the different days in the celebration of Durga Puja:
Day 1 - Shailputri Puja: This day marks the beginning of the festival and is dedicated to the worship of Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains. She is the embodiment of the power of nature and represents the purity and divinity of Mother Earth.
Day 2 - Brahmacharini Puja: On the second day, the goddess in her form of Brahmacharini is worshipped. She is known for her penance and devotion and represents the virtue of self-discipline.
Day 3 - Chandraghanta Puja: The third day is dedicated to the worship of Chandraghanta, who is depicted as a fierce goddess riding a tiger. She represents bravery and courage and is believed to protect her devotees from all forms of harm.
Day 4 - Kushmanda Puja: This day is dedicated to Kushmanda, the creator of the universe. She is believed to be the source of all life and energy, and she represents the power of the sun.
Day 5 - Skandamata Puja: The fifth day is dedicated to the worship of Skandamata, who is the mother of Lord Skanda. She represents the nurturing and protective aspects of motherhood.
Day 6 - Katyayani Puja: On the sixth day, Katyayani, the warrior goddess, is worshipped. She is believed to have fought against evil and represents the power of righteousness.
Day 7 - Kalaratri Puja: The seventh day is dedicated to the worship of Kalaratri, who is the fierce and dark aspect of the goddess Durga. She represents the power to destroy all forms of evil.
Day 8 - Mahagauri Puja: On the eighth day, the goddess in her form of Mahagauri is worshipped. She represents purity, peace, and serenity.
Day 9 - Navami Puja: The ninth day is the main day of the festival and is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Durga in her nine forms. It is believed that on this day, the goddess fought and defeated the demon Mahishasura.
Day 10 - Vijayadashami: The final day of the festival marks the victory of good over evil, and the goddess Durga bids farewell. The idols are immersed in water, symbolising the goddess back to her divine abode.
What Traditions are Observed for Durga Puja?
During Durga Puja, celebrations last nearly a week, making it one of the nation's most lavish holidays. The significance of each day is unique and distinct from the next. These include:
Maha Shashti is the day on which Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, Laxmi, and Lord Kartikeya are said to have arrived on earth with their four children, Goddess Saraswati, Laxmi, Lord Ganesha, and God Kartika. Maha Shashti marks the unveiling of the face of the Lady Durga statue. These ceremonies are conducted on this day: Amontron, Bodhon, and Adhibash. As Goddess Durga approaches, 'Dhaak' drums are beaten everywhere.
Maha Puja is traditionally performed on the eve of Maha Saptami. Immediately before dawn, a banana tree is immersed in holy water and dressed in a new sari in order to resemble a newlywed. The practice is referred to as 'Kola bou' or 'Nabapatrika.'. A banana tree is used to house the idol of Lady Durga. The nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are also represented by nine plants.
On Maha Ashtami, Goddess Durga was said to have slain Mahishasura, or the 'Buffalo Satan.'. In the past, buffaloes were sacrificed in commemoration of the event. Sanskrit hymns are recited while prayers are said. The prayers are called 'Anjali.'. Goddess Durga is revered and portrayed by girls under the age of nine. It is referred to as Kumari puja. In the following days, a 'Sandhi puja' is conducted.
Upon the completion of the 'Sandhi puja', Maha Navami begins. 'Maha arati' is conducted on the eve of Maha Navami. Following the leisure planning, everyone gets their 'bhog.'
As part of Maha Dashami rituals, the idol of Goddess Durga is submerged in the holy Ganges water. Music and drums are sung and danced to as worshippers ride on vehicles, leading up to the immersion. Vermilion is thrown at one another by married women participating in the procession. On this day, people visit each other's houses to wish each other a happy ‘Vijoy Dashmi.’ Some homemade meals are prepared to mark this day.
Durga Puja 2023 Activities
On the night of the Durga Puja celebration, a number of fun festive events are planned. Among them are:
A 'Pandal' is a location where the Durga idol is kept. The pandal is where all of the ceremonies and prayers are performed. Beautiful pandals are erected before the puja gets going. Replicas of the world's most recognisable structures can be found. Also presented are fresh designs.
Several food stands selling a range of street delicacies, such as golgappas, bajjis, and samosas, are erected next to pandals.
In some states, such as West Bengal, it is customary for people to don new clothes each day.
Which States Celebrate Durga Puja?
The nation's several states each observe Durga Puja in a distinctive manner. Among them are:
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
Because villagers in both areas arrange to feed young girls on the final day of the holiday, the Durga Puja celebrations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are extremely similar. In temples, the verse 'Durga Saptashati' is also recited.
Assam and West Bengal
Grand pandals with various themes are erected all over Assam and West Bengal. On the festival's final day, the idol is submerged in the sacred Ganges river.
The Durga Puja festival is observed as Navratri in Gujarat, and locals participate in nighttime celebrations by dancing the well-known 'garba' dance.
Locals in Tamil Nadu adore the goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathi, and Durga during the festival. Young local girls present wooden dolls in a ritual that is specific to the state of Tamil Nadu. The ceremony is called Golu.
Every night during the festival's nine days of festivity, 'Jaagrans' take place. Little girls between the ages of 5 and 10 get food, presents, and money on the eve of Ashtami.
According to tradition, married women in Andhra Pradesh worship Goddess Gauri on the night of the festival, while single women pray for the partner of their choice. Bathukamma Panduga is the name of the Durga puja celebrated in Andhra Pradesh. The women construct flower stacks for worship, which are later submerged in the river.
Over the course of 75 days, the event is celebrated by the people of Chhattisgarh. The celebration has been observed in Bastar, a town in Chhattisgarh, for more than 500 years.
In Karnataka, the Durga Puja event is referred to as Dussehra. The festival celebrations in Mysore are well known.
On the eve of the celebration, Garba is played in Maharashtra. Buying real estate and completing business transactions are regarded as fortunate endeavours during the Durga Puja holiday.
When the festival is just about to conclude in the rest of the nation, the people of Himachal Pradesh begin their celebrations. The celebrations at Dhalpur Maidan, which is located in the Kullu Valley, are well known.
One of the most important holidays observed by the people of this nation is Durga Puja. It is celebrated with great fervour and passion everywhere you go, from Tamil Nadu in the south to Himachal in the north.
Durga Puja 2023 dos and don'ts
While celebrating Durga Puja, one must remember some of the most important dos and don’ts that the festival entails. Below are some of the major dos and don’ts listed:
- Do not offend women in the first place. Goddess Durga is adored in her nine various forms during the Navratri festival. This occasion should emphasise the importance of showing respect to the women around you. Always keep in mind to respect women in order to get Maa Durga's celestial blessings, not just during these nine days.
- Early bathing during Navratri, followed by puja rituals, is thought to bring luck.
- Make careful to direct your 'Akhand jyot' towards the southwest when lighting it for the Goddess. If you follow a 'Akhand jyoti' for nine days, make sure you don't violate any Puja rules or practices.
- Remember that a peaceful house fosters joy and prosperity all year round. Try to avoid any conflicts, disputes, or fighting in your home throughout the nine days of Navratri.
- During Navratri, it is advised to abstain from smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating non-vegetarian food.
- Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the offerings you present to Maa Durga. Use rock salt rather than regular, refined salt.
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Is Durga Puja a national holiday?
No, Durga Puja is not a national holiday.
Which country is famous for Durga Puja?
India is famous for Durga Puja celebrations, and you can see people preparing for the month before the festival begins.
Who first started Durga Puja?
The Tripura Royal Family started Durga Puja for the first time.