Srija Bhadra

11 Years

52 Years

Loreto House

Kolkata

Durga Puja Rituals| Essay by Srija,11, Kolkata

Durga Puja is here! 11 year old Srija from Kolkata paints a fascinating picture of this festival celebrated so grandly in her hometown.
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Durga Puja : Everything you want to know 

Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava is a very popular festival celebrated by the Hindus. It is ten day long starting from Mahalaya. It symbolizes truth and celebrates the victory of good over evil. Durga Puja holds great significance for the Bengali community.

 

There are a lot of rituals that take place during Durga Puja and it initially starts on Shashti and ends on Dashami. It is believed that the Roy Chowdhury family of Behala was the first to start Durga Puja in the 17thcentury in Kolkata. During this time period, the rituals and beliefs are numerous.

First is Anjali where the priests perform some rites and people make offerings of flowers to the goddess. It is a floral offering made with cupped palms. It is also known as Pushpanjali and it takes place on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. Whoever gives the offerings, has to fast until the offering is made.

Another ritual is the Dhunuchi Naach during Navami with clay pots. The pots are filled with burning charcoal and the people dance to the beating of the dhak. Earlier it was only performed by men but women also perform this. Then there is Kumari Puja where a pre-pubescent girl is selected to be worshipped as an incarnation of Durga. She is dressed in new clothes, floral ornaments and she sits beside the Goddess.

Then comes Sindur khela where married women offer Sinduror vermillion to the goddess along with sweets and later smear Sindur on each other’s cheek. This is done on Dashami and another ritual that takes place is Bisarjan where we bid farewell to Maa Durga. They are taken out in a procession to the ghats and immersed into the river. It indicates her return to Mount Kailash.

Read with Sara Durga pooja festival stories for kids by kids Bookosmia

Well, these were some of the rituals out of many. During Durga Puja, it feels like you are somewhere else!  Crowded roads, festive music, new clothes and a smile on everyone’s face. This is what the specialty is.

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