Paragraph on Durga Puja in 150 Words
Durga puja or Durgotsav is a major Hindu festival which is celebrated in the month of Ashwin (September- October). It is an embodiment of the entire Hindu culture. The puja signifies the victory of good over evil, with Goddess Durga defeating demon Mahishasura with her spear. Some celebrate the festival for five days, some six, and some ten.
The last five days are, ‘Shashthi’, ‘Saptami’, ‘Ashtami’, ‘Navami’, and ‘Dashami’. During the period of celebration, the entire Bengal and Bengalis from all over the world remain in high spirits. All schools and colleges remain closed. To honour the spirit of celebration, people buy new garments and wear them during the days of the festival.
Families and friends become united during this period and go pandal hopping together. Some communities prepare food, and people from all strata sit and enjoy it together. The festival comes to an end with bidding goodbye to Goddess Durga on ‘Vijaya Dashami’, with immersing the idols in the water.
Paragraph on Durga Puja 300 Words
Durga Puja, a Hindu festival, depicts the defeat of evil in the hands of the virtuous. The festival is celebrated to indicate the victory of warrior Goddess Durga over the shape-shifting demon Mahishasura. Goddess Durga is the direct embodiment of ‘Shakti’ of the entire universe.
The festival officially begins six days after ‘Mahalaya’, the day when Devi Durga is welcomed to step among the earthlings from her abode in the Himalayas. It is a period of great excitement, and emotions of Bengalis all over the world are on full display.
The major celebratory days are, ‘Shashthi’, ‘Saptami’, ‘Ashtami’, ‘Navami’, and ‘Dashami’. ‘Pran Pratisthan’, a ritual to raise the spirit of maa Durga, is performed on Saptami. It is also known as the ‘kola Bou’ puja, where a small banana plant in a saree is taken for a bath. Pushpanjali is offered to the Goddess every day to tell our hopes and wishes. Maha Aarti is done on Ashtami to mark the end of the major rituals.
Educational institutions all over Bengal remain closed during this period. In the spirit of this occasion, people purchase new clothes to wear during the festival. Temporary stages called pandals are made where the idols of Divine Durga are kept and worshipped. Roads and buildings are decorated with lights, and the air is filled with music.
Relatives and friends come together during this period to commemorate the occasion. People go pandal hopping. Vendors are seen selling various types of balloons and toys to the kids. Children also buy toy guns to shoot fake bullets at each other.
The festival comes to a joyous end among drumbeats and dancing on ‘Vijaya Dashami’, the tenth day of victory, with the immersing of the idols in rivers. With everyone still in high spirits, maa Durga leaves for her husband Shiva after uniting people of all castes and religions. Thus Durga Puja is not just a mere celebration; it is the manifestation of everything pure and righteous.
Paragraph on Durga Puja in 500 Words
Durga puja or Durgotsava celebrates the defeat of the shape-shifting buffalo demon Mahishasura in the hands of the Goddess of war, Durga. It represents the annihilation of dark forces by divine power or ‘Shakti’. Maa Durga is the symbol of the maternal facet of God. Durga puja is the most celebrated Hindu festival which personifies essential aspects of the Hindu culture. Not just Hindus, people of all castes and religions come together to take part in this auspicious occasion.
The history behind Durga Puja
Hindu mythology states that Durga puja was originally performed in the month of spring or ‘Basanta’. So, it is also known as the ‘Basanti’ puja. Rama first revered Goddess Durga in the month of Ashwin. It is said that it was an unlikely time for the puja, and therefore is known as ‘Akalbodhan’.
For the puja to be completed, 100 blue lotuses were required, but Rama could only get his hands on 99. Thus he sacrificed one of his eyes as a substitute for the flower. Pleased by his devotion, Goddess Durga blessed him with victory over his enemies. Rama went into battle with Ravana on ‘Saptami’.
The struggle came to a stop somewhere in between ‘Ashtami’ and ‘Navami’. This period of time is known as ‘Sandikhan’. Ravana was cremated on ‘Dashami’, which is popularly known as ‘Dussera’.
Rituals and Practices
Goddess Durga is welcomed from her heavenly abode, Kailash, on ‘Mahalaya’ also called ‘Mahashashthi’. She sets foot on the mortal world six days after Mahalaya (‘Shashthi’) with her children- Lord Ganesha, Devi Saraswati, Lord Karthik, and Devi Lakshmi. On this day, her face, along with her children, is uncovered. This is known as ‘Kolparombho’ or ‘Bodhon’. The celebrations begin on this day.
On Saptami, maa Durga’s spirit is raised. It is called ‘Pran Pratisthan’. ‘Kola Bou Snan’ is held on this day where a banana plantain and eight other plants are tied together and bathed. The Kola Bou is placed beside Lord Ganesha.
‘Pushpanjali’ is the flower offering done on Ashtami. People hold flowers and petals and chant the mantras after the priest and then throw the flowers at maa’s feet.
‘Sandhi puja’ is performed at the intersection between Ashtami and Navami. It is done to celebrate the defeat of Mahishasura’s two generals in the hands of Goddess Durga.
To commemorate the spirit of celebration, people perform ‘Dhunuchi Naach’. Dhunuchi consists of an incense burner inside a clay pot. People of all ages hold the pot in one hand and dance to the beats of ‘dhaks’ and ‘dhols’. It is a very merry and light-hearted practice which is held on Navami.
On Dashami, the last day of the festival, married woman droned in laal par Shada sarees (white sarees with red borders), apply vermillion powder or sindoor on Maa Durga and her children accompanied with sweets and paan pata (Betel leaf with areca). Sindoor Khela is an integral part of the festival, and the puja is not complete without it.
Activities during Durga Puja
As soon as the puja ends one year, people start calculating the dates for the next year. Durga puja is a much-awaited festival, especially among school and college-going students. Sculptors start working on the idols from more than a month before the beginning of the celebration.
Communities and local clubs start planning their themes for the temporary stages, which are called ‘pandals’, where the idols are kept and worshipped. No fiesta is complete without lights. People go to considerable lengths to enhance their areas with the best and brightest looking lights. The markets see a massive upsurge in sales.
Everybody starts shopping for the latest collection so that they can rock their look during the festival days. The markets remain open even during the days of the puja. All educational institutes remain closed. Relatives of families come to visit them, and friends and families go pandal hopping together.
Children plead with their guardians to buy them colourful balloons and toys. The restaurants are always packed with customers, and people have to wait in line for hours to get a seat. Dramas are performed in almost every locality, and raves are a common occurrence. Many organizations prepare food, and people from all strata of society eat together, forgetting their differences.
Durga puja concludes in high emotions and extreme spirits. At the end of the fifth day on ‘Vijaya Dashami’, the idols are immersed in water, marking the end of the ceremony. People celebrate the return of maa Durga and her children with music and dancing.
The ‘dhakis’ play songs on their dhaks, and people of all age groups dance together. Maa Durga returns to her abode in the Himalayas to her husband Shiva, leaving us with the bittersweet aftertaste of the memories made during the festival days.