Durga Puja 2019 Date in India Calendar: Durga Puja, also called as Durgoutsav, is a festival that marks the triumph of good over the evil. For Bengalis across the globe, Durga Puja is one of the most anticipated festivals, the preparation of which begins months in advance. While each day has its own significance, the eighth day or Maha Ashtami is considered the most significant. This year, the festival will be celebrated from October 4 to October 8, followed by the grand immersion of the idol.
This festival is celebrated for a duration of 10 days, running parallel with Navratri. According to legend, the festival signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of the gods, as collective energy, to fight the demon king Mahishasura, who was blessed with immortality and could not be killed by any god or man, which is why a goddess had to accomplish the feat. According to folklore, Durga would take a different form each of the days to fight the demon, and finally, on the tenth (Dashami), or last day, of Durga Puja, she would kill him, and everyone would bid her farewell.
Starting from the sixth day of the Navratri to the ninth, huge pandals are opened for the public, as a congregation space for anyone to come and take part in the celebration. It is believed that Durga – the goddess of supreme power – starts her journey to earth on this Shasthi (sixth day). The colourful idols of the goddess are unveiled on this day and Lakshmi and Saraswati are revered on the following days.
On Maha Asthami, nine pots with nine different forms of goddess Durga are worshipped. Kumari Puja, that involves worshipping unmarried young girls, are also observed in different parts of India. In this, feet of young girls are washed and later Alata (a red paint), is applied to them before the Puja starts. At the end of the rituals, they are fed food and sweets.
In the evening, Sandhi Puja is done. Navami marks the end of rituals and prayers. On the tenth day – Vijaya Dashami, the goddess returns to her home and the idols are taken for immersion
Huge idols are handicraft and pandals are set up where people come and offer their prayers. Elaborate stage decorations, food stalls, dance performances and games mark the festivity.