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Mahalaya – What Is It? Why Do We Celebrate This Festival? | Bookosmia

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Story by SrijaToday is Mahalaya! What is this festival about? 10 year old Srija Bhadra, a Bookosmian from Kolkata gives us all details!

Congrats to Word Munchers for nurturing her creativity.

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Mahalaya - What is it? Why do we celebrate it?

Bengalis are known to celebrate different seasons with joy and fun. The ornaments, traditional clothes and sweets that we get to see and taste in west Bengal are awesome.

One of the main festivals is Durga Puja.

Every Bengali knows about this festival. Durga Puja is celebrated when Maa Durga officially begins her journey to return to her home after having vanquished Mahishasura.

Seven days before the festival starts is known as Mahalaya. It is celebrated because it is the day when Maa Durga leaves her husband, Lord Shiva from Mt. Kailash and returns to her maternal home for roughly a week.

Mahalaya is an auspicious day for the Bengalis. On this day Bengalis perform some rites for the near and dear ones who have passed away.They go to a sacred river like the Ganges to perform the rites. We all love to go for pandal hopping. But did you know that on this day we paint the eyes of Maa Durga?

Mahalaya - What is it? Why do we celebrate it?

Every Bengali household gets up early on the day of Mahalaya and listens to a collection of songs or mantras called ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ in the sonorous voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra. These mantras invoke the Goddess; the most eminent one being Jago Tumi Jago which means ‘Awaken, Oh Goddess!’.

Every year on this day people start wearing their new clothes, eat Bengali cuisines like rice and pulses and who can forget the most important thing in the Bengali cuisine, the diverse types of fish and rosogulla. While some prefer vegetarian, I always eat non-vegetarian.

Mahalaya - What is it? Why do we celebrate it?

People go out for shopping and enthusiastically wait for Durga Puja to arrive.

The message of Durga Puja is a universal fact that in the end, good triumphs over evil.

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Srija Bhadra

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