Durga Puja is a a part of the Navaratri festival held in many places of India. It is most religiously celebrated in North India, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

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Out of the the nine days of Navarthri festival, from the sixth day to the ninth day- the celebrations are all dedicated to Durga Devi.

Durga Puja 2018 was on October 15 Monday

Image Source: IANS

When is Durga Puja celebrated?

It is celebrated during the months of September - October across India. The festival is one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal, Nepal, Bihar, Assam, Tripura and Bangladesh. 

In Nepal, it is known as Dashain. 

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The festival is celebrated during the entire Navratri festival and it will last for 10 whole days.

The main highlights of the Durga Puja festival is the artistic display of the Goddess Durga idols in her various forms, and then the dances and worship rituals that follow in.

Spiritual Significance of Durga Puja

Mythology reveals the history behind the birth of the grand festival.

Goddess Durga is a symbol of female strength. It is believed that she was created by the Gods to bring an end to the evil power named Mahishasura. The speciality of Mahishasura is that he has received the blessing of immortality.

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Mythology reveals that Mahishasura was an arrogant and powerful king with the heald of a buffalo. After years of prayers, the king pleased Lord Brahma. Finally, he asked a wish- which was that he should never be killed by any man or animal from Earth. Brahma also told him that a woman would have the power to kill him.

So, Goddess Durga was blessed with the collective energy, beauty, and brain power of God to defeat this evil power. She is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.

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She took 10 days to fight him, as he kept changing his forms to mislead her. Finally, when he transformed himself into the form of a buffalo, she could put him to death.

Different Forms of Avatars of Durga Maa

Shailaputri

Brahmacharini

Chandraghanta

Kushmanda

Skanda Mata

Katyayani

Kalratri

Maha Gauri

Siddhidatri

Know more about the Avatars of Goddess Durga Maa here.

Rituals of Durga Puja

In different parts of India, the festival is celebrated in different ways.

Maharashtra

People perform Durga Aarti, and offer prasad to please Goddess Durga. For nine days, the Goddess idol is adorned with flower garlands and this will be removed together after the nine days.

West Bengal

From the sixth day of Navratri, the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of pomp. People perform a lot fo prayers, and dance around the idol of the Goddess to get her blessings. Young girls are selected to perform Kanya Puja on this day. Since Goddess Durga is powerful to wipe out sorrows, bad spells, and miseries in life, people pray so that they invoke her blessings.

Take a look: Why and how is Kanya Puja done during Durga Puja in India?

Punjab

In Punjab, they observe a strict fasting ritual for seven days. the fast is broken only on eighth or ninth day. Only light food is taken and at the end of the festival - they feed beggars and even young girls are worshipped as Durga Maa.

Gujarat

In Gujarat, a lot of importance is given to worship, especially in the dance form. For this, public halls and large community functions are organised for ten whole days. During this people dance to religious tunes and rhythymic beats of the traditonal drums. The Dance Forms are called as Garba and Dandiya Raas. Often people confused between the two, but both these dances are unique and different in their own way.

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Kerala

In South India, Kerala devotees beleive that afetr the nine day fight with evil power, the tenth day is the begining of all good things. So, it is dedicated to education. The day is named as Vidyarambham and young children are made to sit with an elder person and write Om on a plate of rice.

Apart from this, Ayudha Puja is performed to bless all the tools in the house and even in concerned organzations. 

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Important Timings On Durga Puja

Sunrise15-Oct-2018 17:57 PM
Sunset15-Oct-2018 17:57 PM
Saptami Tithi Begins 15-Oct-2018 08:04 AM
Saptami Tithi Ends16-Oct-2018 10:16 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

Durga Puja festival dates between 2015 & 2025

YearDate
2015Monday, 19th of October
2016Saturday, 8th of October
2017Tuesday, 26th of September
2018Monday, 15th of October
2019Friday, 4th of October
2020Thursday, 22nd of October
2021Tuesday, 12th of October
2022Sunday, 2nd of October
2023Saturday, 21st of October
2024Wednesday, 9th of October
2025Sunday, 28th of September

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