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09-13-2009, 10:38 AM #1
The famous festival of Hinduism (Durga Puja)
Depiction of Durga at Maddox Square, Kolkata
Also called Akalbodhan, Vijaya Dashami, Dashain, and Dussehra
Observed by Hindus
2009 date September 26-29
Related to Dussehra
ABOUT DURGA PUJA
Durga Puja (‘Worship of Durga’), also referred as Durgotsab (‘Festival of Durga’) is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates worship of Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi , Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding the festival is called Debi Pokkho (‘Fortnight of the Goddess’). Debi Pokkho is preceded by Mahalaya, the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Pokkho (‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’), and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’)
Durga Puja is widely celebrated in West Bengal, Assam , Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday. Not only it is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Apart from Eastern part of India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and Bangladesh. Nowadays, many non-residential Bengali cultural organizations arrange for Durgotsab in the countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Kuwait etc. In 2006, a grand Durga Puja ceremony was held in the Great Court of the British Museum.
The prominence of Durga Puja increased gradually during the British Raj in Bengal. After the Hindu reformists resemble Durga with India, she had become an icon for the Indian independence movement. On the first quarter of the 20th century, the tradition of Baroyari or Community Puja was popularised due to this. After independence, Durga Puja became one of the largest celebrated festivals in the whole world.
Durga Puja includes the worships of Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati and Kartikeya also. Modern tradition have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted idols of Durga, exchange of Bijoya Greetings and publication of Puja Annuals.
09-13-2009, 05:42 PM #2
09-15-2009, 10:17 AM #3