Life is slowly returning to normalcy for all the Bengali’s including me. Durga Pujo keeps us all busy, occupied and immersed in a deep sense of enjoyment and festivity tied with love, faith, religion and traditions.
Durga Pujo is celebrated by Bengalis however not restricted to them and mostly celebrated in East and Northen India. West Bengal state has a different and larger scale and the entire state goes on a festive mood, where an annual leave is also provided. Most of the Bengalis would not mind taking up a weeks leave during the Pujo season as they would like to spend time with family and celebrate the occasion. It is how it is passed on from generation to generation.
Durga Pujo is different from Navratra and not to be linked to it. Navratri is usually marked by keeping fasting for Maa Durga for 9 days whereas in Durga Puja Bengalis celebrate and would rather eat the most in all these days. It is entirely a different concpet however one can only understand if linked to it. Key is to respect the faith and sentiments for all.
Durga Pujo – It is believed that Maa Durga comes to her maternal home along with her kids from her husband Shiva’s abode. It is related to the defeat and destruction of form changing buffallo demon Mahissasur who can take different forms and Godess Durga emerges victorious over him when all other God’s cant manage to defeat him. Idols of Goddess Durga and her sons (Gamesha, Kartikaye) and daughters Maa Lakshmi and Maa Saraswati are brought and put up in pandals(tents) and the rituals are celebrated for 5 days till Dashami. The festival starts from awakening of the Goddess to her departure back home.
Dashami marks the farewell which starts with Darpan Visarjan – to see Maa Durga in the mirror which is the actual Visarjan(immersion of idol in mirror before doing in the water body). Thereby married women put Sindoor or vemillion on the forehead and feet of Maa Durga and offer her sweets. Married women play with Sindoor with other married women and apply it on their face and Sakha Pola(a bangle worn by married bengali women as a symbol of happy and long marital life). Mostly the women wear traditional Bengali sarees and once done they dance in groups with the Dhak, a traditional drum.
Do you know why Bengali women play with Sindoor?
Sindoor signifies married life is worn by married Hindu women across India. On Dashami Sindoor is applied by married women on Maa Durga’s forehead and feet. After offering Sindoor to Maa Durga the women start smearing it on all other married women around and play with it to signify that Maa’s blessgins remaing with them and they have a long and happy marital life.
After the Sindoor Khela play, the idol of all the goddess are taken out in a procession and the devotees would take them dancing to the tune of Dhak and rejoicing to a near by water body where the idols are immersed.
It is a mixed feeling as it is filled with lots of fun, and as Maa departs it also brings tears to the eyes this is why people chant that Next year Maa will come again and we will celebrate bigger.
Lots of words, now let the photographs explain it in an easier way, Hope you will enjoy them as much as I did clicking them.
Offering sweets and Sindoor to Maa Durga
Playing with Sindoor with other married womans
Asche Bochar Abar Hobe …. Next year we will repeat the magic and celebrations again.
Have a good day and stay blessed and May Maa protect you from all odds.