Durga Puja 2023: Here's How Different Indian States Celebrate The Festival
Ahead of the festive season, devotees deck up the Durga Puja pandals and prepare to welcome the divine in all her glory.
Priyanka Lamba and Yashita Vashishth
Published on Sep 26, 2023, 02:00 PM
India’s rich cultural fabric needs no introduction. It’s the land of vibrant festivities and diversity. Everything — from food to language and festivals — varies from state to state. The beauty, however, lies in how different customs and rituals unite people across the nation. The collective devotion to gods and goddesses is a sentiment that echoes throughout the country. One such festival that has sparked celebratory preparations is Durga Puja. During this period, several cities are coloured in the spirit of the festival and festooned with Durga Puja pandals.
Durga Puja is a part of the 9-day-long Navratri — a celebration of the 9 forms of Goddess Durga. The festivals signify the triumph of good over evil and the removal of darkness. Albeit similar, Durga Puja is predominantly celebrated in the East, and Navratri is celebrated in other parts of the country. The ways in which devotees worship Goddess Durga also vary — some prefer to feast, others fast.
History & significance
While Navratri revolves around worshipping various forms of Goddess Durga, it is a nine-day celebration of Lord Rama’s victory over Lankan demon king Ravana. Similarly, Durga Puja commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura received a boon from Lord Brahma because of which no man or God could kill him, but a woman could. Exploiting this, the demon Mahishasura defeated the gods and drove them out of heaven. To put a stop to these atrocities, all the gods, including Lord Brahma, created Goddess Durga. The fierce battle between the divine Goddess and Mahishasura lasted for 10 days, and on the last day, the demon stood defeated. The 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra.
Durga Puja 2023 date
This year, Navaratri begins on October 15 and ends on October 23. Meanwhile, the 4-day-long Durga Puja festivities commence on October 21. Marking the end of the festivities, Dussehra or Vijayadashami will fall on October 24.
Ahead of the festive season, the streets of various cities are decked to the nines to welcome the divine in all her glory. The celebratory canvas spans a colourful spectrum of festivities. Majestic stages, pandal decorations, larger-than-life cultural fests, dancing into the wee hours of the morning, and preparing indulgent meals for the devotees (bhog) are all a part of the exuberant festivities. In some states, the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water on the 10th day (visarjan), which signifies her return to the divine cosmos, back to her home with Lord Shiva in Kailash. On the other hand, in some states, people celebrate Dussehra by burning the effigies of demons, including Ravana, Kumbhkarana, and Meghanada.
Here’s how different Indian states celebrate Durga Puja and pay obeisance to the Goddess –
While Durga Puja is predominantly celebrated in East India, several cities across the country celebrate the festival with pomp and show. Whether it is majestic pandals, preparing elaborate feasts, or dancing into the night, the entire country revels in the spirit of the festival.
What is the significance of the idol immersion process?
The idol immersion symbolises Goddess Durga’s return to the divine cosmos i.e. her home with Lord Shiva in Kailash.
Can non-Hindus participate in Durga Puja celebrations?
Yes, everyone can celebrate in Durga puja celebrations regardless of religion.
What is the duration of Durga Puja celebrations?
The Durga Puja festivities span over for 4 days. This year, the festival will be celebrated from October 21 to October 24.
What is the significance of Durga Puja in Hindu mythology?
The festival of Durga Puja celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura; the triumph of good over evil.