Showing posts with label Durga puja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Durga puja. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Durga Puja Begins Today

Navratri, the festival of nine days reaches its peak on the last five days called Durgotsava or Durga Puja. This is one of the biggest festivals of Bengalis and one of the most widely celebrated festival in India. Read on to know more about Durga puja...

Durga Mata

The last six days mark the beginning of Durga Puja and the celebrations soar high with the approach of Vijayadashami or Dussehra, which marks the Victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga, the most powerful creation by the Trinity, Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, was sent to earth to put an end to the evil buffalo King, Mahishasura.

Click here to know which Durga to worship according to your Zodiac signs - Durga Puja

History & Origin Of Durga Puja 

First Celebrations of Durga Puja can be dated back to the 16th century. Although its popularity started to rise in the late 17th century. In the beginning, the British were active participants in Durga Puja, done as a means to please influential Hindu officials. This was continued until the British Government issued a ban on such participations. This festival was mostly a high level. Elite family affair who could afford to organise the festive celebrations, but only until the early 17th century. After which, the “Baro-Yari” Puja came into existence.

Baro-Yari Puja & Sarbajanin Puja

 Baro-Yari Puja or community worship was started by 12 young men of Guptipara in Hooghly, West Bengal. This was started as a result of the festival being a costly affair and only the ones who had the riches could afford it. As such the 12 friends decided to collect funds and contributions from local residents; and organised a community worship event for everyone to attend Baro-Yari Puja. This Baro-Yari Puja gave way to the origin of Sarbajanin Puja. The first Sarbajanin Puja was organised by the Sanatan Dharmotsahini Sabha in Kolkata in 1910. This is the first Durga Puja celebration which had the complete public contribution and participation.


Giving Life To The Idols

There is so much details and customs attached in the making of idols of Goddess Durga for the Navratri festival. Along with Goddess Durga’s, idols of Goddess Laxmi & Saraswati and Ganesha & Kartikeya (known to be her children) are done for this occasion. This type of idol, which has all the 5 Gods is called “Ek-Chala” meaning ‘one cover’. The making of the idol involves; firstly, gathering of the clay and secondly, Chakshu Daan meaning offering of eyes. The Pratima or clay idol of Durga is then adorned with Sholar Saaj that are white in color and are usually found in marshlands. Finally, when the idols are done and full of life, they are placed inside beautiful Pandals, where mass Pujas take place.

Worshipping Maa Durga brings strength, wisdom and the devotees are blessed with a fruitful and prosperous life.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Navratri Celebrations In Modern World

Navratri celebrations kick started on the 5th of October, 2013; and will continue to occupy everyones calendar till 13th October. Celebrating Navratri in India is as varied as the different forms of Maa Durga and this is exactly the topic we will tell you in this article. Celebrating Navratri, region-wise. Read on... 

The most popular Navratri Celebrations that come to our mind would be these:
  • Navratri dance of Gujarat - Dandia & Garba
  • Durga Puja of West Bengal
  • Navratri Golu in South, and 
  • The famous Mysore Dussehra Celebrations 
Now, let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Dandia & Garba

Garba DanceGarba is a traditional dance of the state of Gujarat. It is an extravagant event, which is organised for the nine days of Navratri. People from all over the state take part in this festival. This is a major attraction for foreign crowd as well. The Government of Gujarat itself organise “Navratri festival celebrations” and the state declares four days holidays to give this festival a whole new level of excitement. Another highlight of this dance is the grand and beautiful costumes. These are traditional Gujarati costumes which have exquisite designs and are of vibrant colors. The dancing folk use beautifully designed sticks and dance to the beats of the songs with one another forming big circles. This is one starry night which no one would want to miss.

Click here for Garba Songs & Music - Navratri Songs

Durga Puja 

Durga PujaDurga puja is one of the biggest festivals of West bengal. The entire state will be immersed in the celebrations, everywhere there will be nothing else to see other than Pandals, food stalls, Durga statues and people gathered in large numbers. Sharad Navratri known as Durga puja is a festival one does not miss in West Bengal. Large size Durga idols depicting her in the Durga form killing the Demon king Mahishasura is placed in big Pandals where people in huge numbers gather to pray and wish one another. Women apply vermillion which is red in color (Durga Maa’s color) and exchange sweets and wish one another. Temples perform special Pujas and rituals, the grandeur at these places is beyond explanation. One has to be there to witness this splendor with their own eyes. Durga Maa, Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Karthikeya are the prime Gods worshipped during this festival.

 Navratri Golu

Navratri GoluGolu also known as Kolu in Tamil is a custom where miniature dolls of deities depicting ancient legends and stories are placed on decorated steps with colorful lights, flowers and rangolis. This is a most looked forward to festival, which is celebrated in the month of Purattasi in the Tamil Hindu calendar. This is a very popular custom in the four southern states of India, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil nadu and Kerala. On this occasion, nine young girls dressed as the nine different form of Goddess Durga are invited home and given sweets and new dresses. Married women visit each other’s home and exchange Thambulam (Haldi Kumkum). People gather for a social get together and sing devotional songs, as well as perform skits from Hindu mythology.

Mysore Dussehra

Mysore dussehra The Mysore Dussehra festivals, date back to the 15th century. In 2010, Mysore Dussehra celebrated its 400th anniversary. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil, Goddess Chamundeshwari, a form of Goddess Durga is worshipped. This festival is considered as the state festival of Karnataka. The entire city is illuminated for the ten days Dussehra Jamboree. The magnificent Mysore palace is lit for ten continuous days, which is a breathtaking sight in itself. The main attraction of Mysore Dussehra is the Dussehra parade or popularly known as Jumboo Savari, which is a major booster for Mysore tourism. Beautifully decorated vehicle carrying artist and statues are paraded on the streets of Mysore. Folk dancers, cultural art performers adorn the streets of Mysore. One more main event of this festival is the Royal Durbar (royal meeting), where the Royal family along with important guests, leaders, officials and public participate in the Puja and ritual. Every year, the main elephant of the event brought in and trained specially for the reason that he carries the golden statue of Chamundi Goddess and the royal sword and parades it through the city.

This is a brief article about the celebrations carried out in different parts of India. Make this Navratri a special one. May Goddess Durga shower her blessings on everyone.