A Hindu holiday celebrated from October 11 to October 15 every year, Durga Puja commemorates the victory of the goddess Durga over the shape-shifting demon king Mahishasura. Also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, it begins on the same day as Navaratri.
Legend of Durga Puja
The most powerful gods created the goddess Durga, Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer. The demon Mahishasura was annoyed by the Devis' constant victory over evil so he took on a long penance in to please the Devis since he realized that he wouldn't be able to destroy them.
Pleased by his penance, Brahma granted him a prayer, and Mahishasura requested immortality unless he was defeated by a woman, which he thought would be impossible to do. Once granted his wish, Mahishasura invaded the three realms: heaven, earth, and hell, and decided to take over heaven.
However, the wily Devis joined powers to create the goddess Durga, a woman, in order to destroy Mahishasura. As ordained, she prevailed over him after a long, hard battle.
Celebration Practices of Durga Puja
On the first day, Mahalaya, devotees celebrate the arrival of the goddess. She's worshiped in different forms: Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati. Celebrations begin on the sixth day.
Bigger households place the idol in courtyards for people to come and pray to Durga. Before the Devi proceeds towards the pandals, she's dressed up in a gorgeous saree and intricate jewelry, with garlands made with paper, glitter beads, and colored thread.
On the sixth day, Durga comes with her four children: Lakshmi, Ganesha, Sarasvati, and Kartikeya, and her face is unveiled.
On the seventh day, Kola Bau, believed to be Ganesha’s wife, is presented to Durga as a form of herself because Durga is known as the goddess of agriculture. She's represented by the nine natural plant forms tied together to look like a new bride's veil. She wears a new saree and is placed on the side of Ganesha.
On the eighth day, known as the day of colors, devotees wear new sarees and jewelry and carry small pots with different-colored flags representing different energies. Durga is then worshipped and invoked.
On the ninth day, Boli, celebrants perform Homa, a traditional fire sacrifice, and offer pumpkins and sugarcane.
On the 10th day, devotees celebrate victory. Married women offer farewell to the goddess with betel leaf, sweets, and vermillion. They apply sindoor in the parting of their hair, then smear the rest on their faces. They pray for their families' health and peace. They wear white sarees with crimson borders covered in red vermillion.
On this day, Vijayadashami, people celebrate by chanting, playing drums, and carrying Durga's sacred images to the river of immersion. Devotees get sprinkled with the water in which the goddess was immersed.
Romikas is honored to assist you in celebrating Durga Puja by offering a wide selection of beautiful, eye-catching South Asian jewelry.
May Maa Durga gift you with her 9 blessings of devotion, fame, happiness, health, humanity, knowledge, name, power, and wealth.
Happy Durga Puja, everyone!
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