MY Favourite Festival – Durga Puja Category : Secondary School Level

MY Favourite Festival – Durga Puja

Category : Secondary School Level

When I think of the many festivals that India has I feel lucky to be born here. Almost every season has its own festival. In January we have Pongal, Lohri and the 26th January. In March we have 'Holt followed by Easter and Baisakhi in April. May brings us Idd. August comes with 15th August, Raksha Bandhan and Janmasthmi. In October we have Dussehra and Durga Pooja. Then comes Deepawali; and finally comes Christmas on 25th December. Which country can boast of so many festivals in a year?


Of all these, my favourite is the Durga Pooja, the festival dedicated to goddess Durga. It comes at, the time of Dussehra when the weather is New Pattern Essays pleasant. The summer heat is over. The rigours of winter are yet to come.


The Pooja is a festival of five days, from Sashti to Dashami. It celebrates the killing of the cruel Mahishasur  (the buffalo-demon) by the goddess Durga. Different localities of the city celebrate the Pooja with great enthusiasm. A huge ‘pandal’ is set up and on one side the idols of the different deities are tastefully arranged. In the centre is goddess Durga, sitting on her steed, the


lion. Below lies the slain Mahishasur. On one side are Laxmi and Ganesh and on the other side are Kartikeya and Saraswati.


Every morning, from Shahthi to Navami, there is the pooja and then the Anjali or offering of flowers. Prasad is distributed. In the evenings there is the Arti. This is the most remarkable ceremony. The priest worships the goddess with different things like earthen lamps, joss sticks, flowers, conch-shell etc. He does it very artistically and rhythmically, The drummers and young boys and girls dance ecstatically before the goddess. The total effect is hypnotic.


Late in the evenings there are plays and variety shows presented by different amateur and professional troupes.


Men, women and children dress in their best clothes. They make rounds of the different Puja pandals and pay their homage. Finally, on the Dashmi day, is the ‘Immersion’ or –‘Visarjan’. The idols of different -Barwaris5 are carried in trucks followed by the people of those areas. They go to the river ‘ghat’ for the immersion of the idols in the river. This itself is a grand ceremony when people dance and sing to the accompaniment of music.


Lastly comes the sweetest item of all –the visit to the houses of friends and relatives. Wherever one goes one is welcomed with special Bengali-sweets like Rasgulla, Sandesh, Kalajam RaJbhog, Gopal Bhog, Kheer Kadam and many more such delicacies. What a sweet end to the Pooja festival !


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