The Durja Puja festival is just round the corner. It is the time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Goddess Durga is being worshipped since time immemorial. She represents the union of Divine forces against demonic and evil forces. She was the all-powerful being created to kill the demon king Mahishasura. A stream of lightning from the mouths of the creators of the universe – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar – created a woman with ten hands. She was then furnished by the special weapons of various Gods. The image of the goddess piercing the heart of the demon with the trishul represents the spiritual victory of goodness over baser passions.
The countdown of the four days of the celebration – Saptami, Ashtami, Navmi and Dashami – starts from Mahalaya. Mahalaya is celebrated as an invocation to Goddess Durga. The immersion is performed on Dashami which marked the goddess return to her abode.
West Bengal, especially Kolkata, is the place where Durga Puja is celebrated with grandeur. The festive spirit fills the air two weeks before Saptami. Everybody is seen busy to complete their Durga Puja preparations. It is a festival where gifts are exchanged amongst relatives and friends.
People from the countryside and the city go pandal hopping throughout the night. The city of Kolkata never goes to sleep during any of these four days of celebration. People hire cars for travelling distant places for visiting pandals while many prefer to go by bus and then on foot. When pandal hopping makes one hungry the food stalls are always at your service.
Celebration of Durga Puja Festival
The Durga Puja festival is also a time when the artisans and craftsmen of Bengal get the opportunity to show off their artistic skills. Mud images are common but they come in various styles. Artisans make images of Durga out of a single block of stones and also from metals like brass. Pandals are sometimes made of glass bangles, bamboo sticks and even earthenware. Television channels provide full coverage of the festivals from various parts of the city. This proves helpful for the aged who are incapable of taking the pain of walking down the streets.
Durga Puja is the time when people forget their woes and get into the flow of enjoying life these four days. These are the four days that people wait for. These four days are what they save money for. This festival brings back hope and happiness and a purpose to live.