For the bengali folks all around the world, Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals of the year. It is basically a festival of the victory of good over evil.
Durga Puja is a multi day festival with each day earmarked for certain pujas and celebrations. The puja is celebrated in a grand manner.
Generally, the pujas are carried out in two forms, one, the community joins in to have a common puja. People of the locality form groups, they collect the necessities and the puja commences; the other form, in which the puja is a family affair, where all the family members of a particular family are involved and they pitch in to make the puja!
Here, what you see are glimpses from the Sen family’s Durga Puja – 2018. As with most family’s puja, the tradition continues for years and often spans generations.
The main pujas commence from the 5th day of the 10 day span. Every day have their own set of rituals that must be carried out and specific worships that must be done.
The incantation to the goddess in the form of Arati is carried out every day.
Off the various lamps used during arati, on the juncture of the eighth and ninth day of worship, there is a special lamp, 108 of tiny little lamps make this one huge one, which needs to be lit in 1 minute by the married ladies of the family. So, it becomes a joint effort, and does offer nice photo opportunities.
On the penultimate day of workship, there is a yagna ritual which must be carried out.
On the last day of the celebration, it is a grand send off to the goddess with her being fed sweets and milk. Often the ladies have a conversation with the Mother as they send her off and wish to see her soon the next year. The send off follows playful smearing of vermilion on each other.
With the immersion of the idol complete, we all return back and it slowly turns to business as usual and we disperse back to our different workplaces across the country.
So, this is how a simple family based Durga Puja looks like in India.
I hope you enjoyed the glimpses and it shall be a pleasure to host you, my dear reader at my ancestral place during the upcoming Durga Puja. So, in case you want to have a close up experience, do let me know 🙂