Durga Puja 2019

Durga Puja 2019 – Procedure and Benefits | Rituals and Significance

Durga Puja Dates: 28 Sep 2019 to 8 Oct 2019 (10 Days)

Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava, is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent. Durga Puja is one of the most famous festivals celebrated in North Eastern Parts of India and West Bengal, in honor of Goddess Durga during the period of Navaratri. Durga Puja is traditionally held for 10 days.

Durga Puja Vidhi and Rituals

Durga Puja Facts –

Durga Puja Dates 2019 28 September 2019 – 10 October 2019
Type of Durga PujaSharadiya Durga Puja (Celebrated in Sep-Oct)
Basanti Durga Puja (Celebrated in Mar-Apr)
No. of Days Celebrated 10 Days
Goddess Worshipped Mahadevi Durga
Important Day Maha Ashtami (8th Day)
Related Festivals Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali
Celebrations in IndiaGarba Dance in Gujarat & Mumbai

Significance of Durga Puja –

  • According to Hindu Mythology, Goddess Durga emerged from the collective energy of all Gods.
  • The Goddess comes as an embodiment of Shakti or divine feminine power, to destroy demon Mahishasura who was blessed to not be defeated by any man or god.
  • The name Durga in Sanskrit means ‘the impenetrable‘ she exists in a state of self-sufficiency and in ultimate power.
  • This powerful form of Mother Goddess is highly revered in the eastern states of India which is why her return is celebrated with much grandeur and ceremonies.

What does Goddess Durga Signify in Durga Puja –

Goddess Durga represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation.

  • Chakra in her 1st upper right hand symbolizes dharma (duty/righteousness). We must perform our duty/responsibilities in life.
  • Conch in her first upper left hand symbolizes happiness. We must perform our duty happily and cheerfully and not with resentment.
  • Sword in her second right lower hand symbolizes the eradication of vices. We must learn to discriminate and eradicate our evil qualities.
  • Bow and arrow in her second left lower hand symbolize character like Lord Rama.  When we face difficulties in our life we should not lose our character (values).
  • Lotus Flower in her third lower left hand symbolizes detachment. We must live in the world without attachment to the external world.
  • Club in her third right lower hand is the symbol of Hanuman and symbolizes devotion and surrender.
  • Trident/Trishul in her fourth left lower hand symbolizes courage. We must have the courage to eliminate our evil qualities and face the challenges in our life.
  • Fourth Lower Right Hand symbolizes forgiveness and Her blessings. We must forgive ourselves and others for mistakes and/or any hurt we may have caused.
  • Durga Maa is depicted as riding on a lion or a tiger. A tiger symbolizes unlimited power. Durga riding a tiger indicates that She possesses unlimited power and uses it to protect virtue and destroy evil

When is Durga Puja Celebrated –

  • It is celebrated for 10 days, however starting from the sixth day until the ninth day, the Pandals with grand idols of Goddess Durga are open for visitors.
  • The tenth day, also known as Dashami marks the Visarjan (immersion in water) of the idol with grand celebrations and processions. 

Dates and Days of Durga Puja 2019 –

Mahalaya, First Day 28 September 2019 Saturday
Panchmi, Fifth Day 3 October 2019 Thursday
Shashthi, Sixth Day 4 October 2019 Friday
Saptami, Seventh Day 5 October 2019 Saturday
Ashtami, Eight Day 6 October 2019 Sunday
Nabami, Ninth Day 7 October 2019 Monday
Dashmi, Tenth Day 8 October 2019 Tuesday

See Panchang, Muhurat & Fast Timings for Durga Puja & Maha Ashtami 2019 here

The Rituals of Durga Puja-

Rituals of Durga Puja
Different Rituals that are very important during Durga Puja.

Durga Puja has its own unique rituals

  1. Chokku Daan on Mahalaya: On the occasion of Mahalaya, the Goddess is invited on earth with rituals and so on this day, the eyes are drawn on the idols in an auspicious ritual called Chokku Daan. It is believed the Goddess descends to earth at the time of drawing the eyes on the idols. 
  2. Kolparombho or Bodhon: It is held on the sixth day after Mahalaya aka Mahashashthi. It’s the day Maa Durga reaches the mortal world from Kailash, her heavenly abode, with her children in tow — Lord Ganesh, Lord Karthik, Devi Saraswati, and Devi Laxmi. 
  3. Kola Bou or Nabapatrika: The Kola Bou snan is held on Mahashaptami or the seventh day after Mahalaya. The day starts with the ritual where a banana plantain with eight other plants is tied with yellow threads and the twigs of the Aparajita plant. It is then bathed and draped in the Laal par Shada saree (red and white saree).
  4. Anjali: Anjali is common on the Pujo days. Ritualistically, Anjali is a divine offering. The most important of them all is the Pushpanjali which is held on Mahashtami, the eighth day after Mahalaya. Fresh flowers and bel leaves are handed by the priest to the followers. 
  5. Kumari Pujo: Kumari Pujo is done on the auspicious day of Maha Ashtami. A young girl, who is yet to hit puberty, is worshipped. The young girl symbolizes the Kumari form of Maa.
  6. Sandhi Pujo: Sandhi Pujo is a special one that takes place at the juncture of Mahashtami and Mahanavami (ninth day post-Mahalaya). It marks the exact moment when Maa Durga transformed into Devi Chamunda to kill Mahishasura’s two generals — Chand and Mund.
  7. Dhunuchi Naach: The ‘Dhunuchi’ is a typical clay pot, something like an incense burner, filled with burning dried coconut husks and aromatic ingredients. Men hold these in the hand and perform impromptu steps to the rhythm of Dhaaks in front of Maa Durga.
  8. Sindoor Khela: The Sindoor Khela is another much-awaited event on Mahadashami, the last day of the festival. Translated into ‘playing with vermillion powder’, it’s actually an integral part of Durga Puja.
  9. Visarjan: Visarjan is held after the main Pujo ends when the Goddess is immersed into the water so she can return to her heavenly abode. The Visarjan is held on Mahadashami or the last day of the celebrations. ‘
  10. Bijoya: Bijoya Dashami is held after the Visarjan. This is the time when Maa Durga is on her way back to Mt Kailash and mortals are supposed to rejoice, seek blessings from elders, share the love and affection among equals and bless the ones who are younger.

Durga Puja Decoration and Pandal

Durga Puja Decoration and Pandal
Various number of Pandals are formed with unique designs for the Goddess to be worshiped.
  • The gorgeously decorated pandals each emphasize a theme; be it the legends of Goddess Durga or scenes from Hindu epic texts.
  • Nowadays, some pandals are themed on a social cause to spread awareness.
  • Day time is usually better to see the pandals closely when the crowd is less however; the brightly lit pandals in hundreds of colors are quite a sight of its own in the evenings

Durga Puja Bhog –

  • Food is a major feature of the Durga Puja festival. Sure enough, in a festival this grand you are bound to find the most delicious and incredible variety of cuisines.
  • From snacks and sweet dishes that can be found during Durga Puja special themed Bhog meals that have a little of everything.
  • All the pandals offer Bhog that are offerings made to the Goddess Durga which is later distributed among the devotees and community kitchens are also set up.

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