Durga Pooja is an important Hindu festival which is marked by worshipping Goddess Durga during a period lasting 9 days. Celebrations of Durga Puja are visible throughout the country especially in the state of West Bengal where the festivities take very large proportions. Durga Puja festival in honour of Goddess Durga. Fasting, festival dishes, devotional songs, decorations are some of the main aspects of the Durga Puja festivals.
Durga Puja is a festival which epitomises the victory of Good over Evil. Today, the festivities associated with Durga Puja can best be enjoyed at the various Durga Puja pandals which come up across the country. These pandals play various music and devotional songs in honour of Goddess Durga and are aesthetically decorated to provide for an ideal setting to offer prayers to Goddess Durga.
Significance of Durga Pooja Festival : Durga is an incarnation of power the resides in every element of this universe. The literary meaning of Durga is difficult to approach. Being Durga, Goddess Durga is the embodiment of intelligence, power, wealth, beauty and mercy that is creator, preserver and destroyer of this universe.
During Durga Puja festival, nine different forms of Goddess Durga is worshipped. The whole image of ten-headed and multi-armed mother goddess riding on a Lion is shown destroying buffalo-demon Mahishasura. This image signifies the victory of Good over Evil and also tells to invoke divinity by controlling the senses to get diverted to bad habits.
Durga Pooja festival is a celebration of life and its traditional and valuable culture.
Legends of Durga Puja : According to a Puranic legend attached to this day, demon Mahishasur vanquished the gods and their king, Indra, who approached the Holy Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They in turn sought the help of the divine mother Durga who, equipped with lethal weapons, riding a ferocious lion, in all her awesome majesty, killed Mahishasur. This day, thus, also celebrates the magnificence and omnipotence of Goddess Durga.
The festival of Durga Pooja has its link with Pandavas. According to the great Indian epic the Mahabharat, the Pandavas had to spend 12 years wandering in the forest and one year in camouflaged form. The Pandavas spent their last year in the court of Virat. On the end of one year Pandavas regained their arms from the shammi tree and declared their true identification. It was the day of Vijay Dashmi. Since that day the exchange of Shami leaves has become the symbol glory and triumph.