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Encyclopedia > Durga Puja
Durga Puja
Depiction of Durga at Maddox Square, Kolkata
Also called Akalbodhan, Vijaya Dashami, Dashain, and Dussehra
Observed by Hindus
Type Bengali Hindu
2006 date September 29-October 2
2007 date October 18-21
Related to Dussehra

Durga Puja (Bengali: দুর্গাপূজা Durga Puja) is the biggest festival of Hindus in Bihar, West Bengal, East Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bengali Hindus all over the world. It is also called Akalbodhan, Vijaya Dashami, Dashain, and Dussehra. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (768 × 1024 pixel, file size: 257 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Picture taken in 2005 at Maddox Square, Kolkata. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Dussehra (also transliterated as Dasara) or Vijaya Dasami is an important Hindu festival. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... The Bengali people are the ethnic community from Bengal (divided between India and Bangladesh) on the Indian subcontinent with a history dating back four millennia. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Dussehra (also transliterated as Dasara) or Vijaya Dasami is an important Hindu festival. ... Bengali or Bangla (IPA: ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit languages. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... For other uses, see Bihar (disambiguation). ... , West Bengal (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Poshchimbôŋgo) is a state in eastern India. ... East Bengal was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly included the modern state of Bangladesh. ... , Jharkhand   (Hindi: झारखंड, Bengali: ঝাড়খণ্ড,IPA: ) is a state in eastern India. ... The Bengali people are the ethnic community from Bengal (divided between India and Bangladesh) on the Indian subcontinent with a history dating back four millennia. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Dussehra (also transliterated as Dasara) or Vijaya Dasami is an important Hindu festival. ...


The actual period of the worship however may be over the preceding nine days Navaratri or five days ("Sasthi", "Saptami", "Asthami", "Nabami" & "Vijaya Dashami") - (Bengali ষষ্ঠী, সপ্তমী, অষ্টমী, নবমী, বিজয়া দশমী). Navratri or Navratra is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. ...


Durga Puja 2007 was held from 2007-10-17 (ShashThi) to 2007-10-21 (dashamI). Durga Puja 2007, or the five day Durga Puja festival honouring the Goddess Durga, was celebrated with vigour from 2007-10-17 (ষষ্টী, shashthi) to 2007-10-21(দশমী, dashami), all over the lands where Bengalis and other Eastern Indian proples live. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Durga puja

The worship of Durga in the autumn ('Sharad') is the year's largest Hindu festival of Bengal. Durga Puja is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan according to local traditions and variations. Puja means "worship," and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of 'Ashwin', which is the sixth month in the Bengali calendar. Occasionally however, due to shifts in the lunar cycle relative to the solar months, it may also be held in the following month, Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, these dates correspond to the months of September/October. In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Bengal (Bengali: বঙ্গ Bôngo, বাংলা Bangla, বঙ্গদেশ Bôngodesh or বাংলাদেশ Bangladesh), is a historical and geographical region in the northeast of South Asia. ... Ashwin (Devanagari: अश्विन्, Bengali: Ashshin) is the sixth month of the Bengali calendar as well as the Hindu Calendar. ...


In the Krittibas Ramayana, Rama invokes the goddess Durga in her battle against Ravana. Although she was traditionally worshipped in the spring, due to contingencies of battle, Rama had to invoke her in the autumn akaal bodhan. Today it is this Rama's date for the puja that has gained ascendancy, although the spring puja, known as Basanti Puja, is also present in the Hindu almanac. Since the season of the puja is Shôrot autumn, it is also known as Sharodia.


The pujas are held over a ten-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalaya's home. It is the most important festival in Bengal, and Bengalis celebrate with new clothes and other gifts, which are worn on the evenings when the family goes out to see the 'pandals' (temporary structures set up to venerate the goddess). Although it is a Hindu festival, religion takes a backseat on these five days: Durga Puja in Bengal is a carnival, where people from all backgrounds, regardless of their religious beliefs, participate and enjoy themselves to the hilt.


Kolkata

In Kolkata alone more than two-thousand pandals are set up, all clamouring for the admiration and praise of the populace. The city is adorned with lights. People from all over the country visit the city at this time, and every night is one mad carnival where thousands of people go 'pandal-hopping' with their friends and family. Traffic becomes a nightmare, and indeed, most people abandon their vehicles to travel by foot after a point. , “Calcutta” redirects here. ...


Siliguri

Hundred of puja pendal are setup every year in siliguri mahakuma area. Many attractive colourful pandal and glorious "Protima" & colorful lighting make happy to the visitors. During the puja period visitors are come here from all over the world.The city is adorned with lights.Every day visitor's are come out on road with there family and friends & they enjoy the festival over the night.


Origin of the autumnal ceremony 'Sharadiya'

The actual worship of the Goddess Durga as stipulated by the Hindu scriptures falls in the month of Chaitra which roughly overlaps with March or April. This ceremony is however not observed by many and is thus restricted to a handful in the state of West Bengal. Chaitra (Hindi: चैत cait or चैत्र caitr) is a month of the Hindu calendar. ...


The more popular form which is also known as Sharadiya (Autumnal) Durga Puja is celebrated later in the year with the dates falling either in September or October. Since the Goddess is invoked at the wrong time it is called "Akaal Bodhon" in Bengali. Bengali or Bangla (IPA: ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit languages. ...


The first such Puja was organised by Raja Nabakrishna Deb of the Sovabazar Rajbari of Calcutta in honour of Lord Clive in the year 1757. The puja was organised because Clive wished to pay thanks for his victory in the Battle of Plassey. He was unable to do so in a Church because the only church in Calcutta at that time was destroyed by Siraj-ud-Daulah. Indeed many wealthy mercantile and Zamindar families in Bengal made British Officers of the East India Company guests of honour in the Pujas. The hosts vied with one another in arranging the most sumptuous fares, decorations and entertainment for their guests. This was deemed necessary since the Company was in charge of a large part of India including Bengal after the Battles of Plassey and Buxar. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Combatants British East India Company Siraj Ud Daulah (Nawab of Bengal), La Compagnie des Indes Orientales Commanders Colonel Robert Clive (later Governor of Bengal and Baron of Plassey) Mir Jafar Ali Khan (Commander-in-chief of the Nawab), M. Sinfray (French Secretary to the Council) Strength 2,200 European soldiers... Zamindar, also known as Zemindar, Zamindari, or the Zamindari System (Persian: زمیندار) were employed by the Mughals to collect taxes from peasants. ... The companys flag initially had the flag of England, the St Georges Cross, in the canton The Honourable East India Company (HEIC), often colloquially referred to as John Company, and Company Bahadur in India, was an early joint-stock company (the Dutch East India Company was the first... The Battle of Plassey was a battle that took place on June 23, 1757, near Plassey (Palashee (পলাশী) in Bengali), a small village on the Bhagirathi River (a distributary of Ganges River) located just north of Kolkata and south of Murshidabad in India. ... Buxar is an administrative district in the state of Bihar in India. ...


History

Godess Durga,in one of the Pandals of Calcutta now Kolkata.
Godess Durga,in one of the Pandals of Calcutta now Kolkata.

A considerable literature exists around Durga in the Bengali language and its early forms, including avnirnaya (11th century), Durgabhaktitarangini by Vidyapati (14th century), etc. Durga Puja was popular in Bengal in the medieval period, and records exist of it being held in the courts of Rajshahi (16th century) and Nadia district (18th century). It was during the 18th century, however, that the worship of Durga became popular among the landed elite of Bengal, Zamindars. Prominent Pujas were conducted by the landed zamindars and jagirdars, enriched by British rule, including Raja Nabakrishna Deb, of Shobhabajar, who initiated an elaborate Puja at his residence. Many of these old pujas exist to this day. Today, the culture of Durga Puja has shifted from the princely houses to Sarbojanin (literally, "involving all") forms. The first such puja was held Guptipara - it was called barowari (baro meaning twelve and yar meaning friends) Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... , “Calcutta” redirects here. ... Padma River flows besides Rajshahi City Rajshahi (Bangla: রাজশাহী) is a city in Rajshahi District in northwestern Bangladesh. ... Barowari refers to the public organisation of a religious or other festival, mainly in West Bengal. ...


Durga puja mood starts off with the Mahishasuramardini' – a radio programme that has been popular with the community since the 1950s. While earlier it used to be conducted live, later a recorded version began to be broadcast. Bengalis traditionally wake up at 4 in the morning on Mahalaya day to listen to the enchanting voice of the late Birendra Krishna Bhadra and the late Pankaj Kumar Mullick on All India Radio. as they recite hymns from the scriptures from the Devi Mahatmyam or Chandi.


During the week of Durga Puja, in the entire state of West Bengal as well as in large enclaves of Bengalis everywhere, life comes to a complete standstill. In playgrounds, traffic circles, ponds -- wherever space may be available -- elaborate structures called pandals 'are set up, many with nearly a year's worth of planning behind them. The word pandal means a temporary structure, made of bamboo and cloth, which is used as a temporary temple for the purpose of the puja. While some of the pandals are simple structures, others are often elaborate works of art with themes that rely heavily on history, current affairs and sometimes pure imagination.


Somewhere inside these complex edifices is a stage on which Durga reigns, standing on her lion mount, wielding ten weapons in her ten hands. This is the religious center of the festivities, and the crowds gather to offer flower worship or pushpanjali on the mornings, of the sixth to ninth days of the waxing moon fortnight known as Devi Pakshya (lit. Devi = goddess; Pakshya = period; Devi Pakshya meaning the period of the goddess). Ritual drummers – dhaakis, carrying large leather-strung dhaakis –– show off their skills during ritual dance worships called aarati. On the tenth day, Durga the mother returns to her husband, Shiva, ritualised through her immersion into the waters –– Bishorjon also known as Bhaashan and Niranjan


Today's Puja, however, goes far beyond religion. In fact, visiting the pandals recent years, one can only say that Durgapuja is the largest outdoor art festival on earth. In the 1990s, a preponderance of architectural models came up on the pandal exteriors, but today the art motif extends to elaborate interiors, executed by trained artists, with consistent stylistic elements, carefully executed and bearing the name of the artist.


The sculpture of the idol itself has evolved. The worship always depicts Durga with her four children, and occasionally two attendant deities and some banana-tree figures. In the olden days, all five idols would be depicted in a single frame, traditionally called pata. Since the 1980s however, the trend is to depict each idol separately.


At the end of six days, the idol is taken for immersion in a procession amid loud chants of 'Bolo Durga mai-ki jai' (glory be to Mother Durga') and 'aashchhe bochhor abar hobe' ('it will happen again next year') and drumbeats to the river or other water body, and it is cast in the waters symbolic of the departure of the deity to her home with her husband in the Himalayas. After this, in a tradition called Vijaya Dashami, families visit each other and sweetmeats are offered to visitors (Dashami is literally "tenth day" and Vijay is "victory").


Durga Puja is also a festivity of Good (Ma Durga) winning over the evil (Maheshasoora the demon). It is a worship of power of Good which always wins over the bad.


Evolution of the community or sarbojanin puja

Initially the Puja was organised by affluent families since they had the wherewithal for the venture. However a burgeoning middle class, primarily in Calcutta, during the late 19th and early 20th century wished to observe the Puja. Community or Sarbojanin Pujas were thus conceptualised.


These Pujas are organized by a committee which represents a locality or neighbourhood. They collect funds called "chaanda" through door to door subscriptions, lotteries, concerts etc. These funds are then pooled and used to meet the expenses of pandal construction, idol construction, ceremonies etc. The balance fund is donated to some charitable cause although such a gesture depends on the committee. Corporate sponsorships of the Pujas have gained momentum since the late nineties. Major Pujas in Calcutta and in major Metros like Delhi and Chennai now derive almost all of their funds from corporate sponsorships and community fund drives have become a mere formality. For other uses, see Delhi (disambiguation). ... , “Madras” redirects here. ...


Despite the resources which are employed in the organisation of a Puja, entry of visitors into the Pandal is free of cost except for few Puja conducted in Gurgaon by wealthy upmarket Bengalis. Pujas in Calcutta and else where experiment with innovative concepts every year and various prizes have been instituted for Best Pandal, Best Puja etc.


Creation of The Idols

The entire process of the creation of the idols right from the collection of clay to the ornamentation is a holy process supervised by rites and other rituals. On the Hindu date of Akshaya Tritiya when the Ratha Yatra is held, clay for the idols is collected from the banks of a river preferably the Ganges. After the required rites, the clay is transported from which the idols are fashioned. An important event is 'Chakkhu Daan' literally donation of the eyes. The eyes of the idols starting with Devi Durga is painted on Mahalaya or the first day of the Pujas. Before painting on the eyes the artisans fast for a day and do not take non-vegetarian food. Ratha Yatra is one of the major festivals associated with Lord Jagannath, Puri, Orissa state, India. ... “Ganga” redirects here. ...


Many Pujas in and around Calcutta source their idols from Kumartuli (also Kumortuli), an artisans town in north Calcutta. Clay images under preparation at Kumortuli Kumortuli (also spelt Kumartuli, or the archaic spelling Coomartolly) is traditionally potters’ quarter in north Kolkata. ...


Durga puja in other parts of India

Maharashtra and Goa

In Maharashtra, Durga Puja is a fun occasion. Puja is performed each day and devotees don't remove the flower garland that is put each day on the idol or image of the deity. After nine days all nine are removed together. Young girls who have not attained maturity are invited to eat, play games, dance and sing. An elephant is drawn with rangoli and the girls play guessing games. Then they are fed a meal of their choice. In Goa great festivities take place in the temples of shree Shantadurga , shree Mhalasa Narayani and shree Vijayadurga. , Maharashtra (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र , IPA:  , translation: Great Nation) is Indias third largest state in area and second largest in population after Uttar Pradesh. ... For other uses, see Goa (disambiguation). ... Shantadurga also known as Shanteri/Santeri is the form of the Goddess Durga, commonly worshipped in Goa,India . ... Shree Mhalasa Narayani is the Mohini form of Lord Vishnu. ... Narayan may mean any of several things. ... A family deity of Hindu Goud Saraswat Brahmins in Goa, India. ...


Punjab

People of Punjab strictly observe Navratri. Some Punjabis have only milk for seven days before breaking the fast on ashtami or navami. They worship Durga Ma and do the aarti at home. Some of them have fruit or a complete meal once a day, and intoxicating drinks or meat and other forms of entertainment are completely avoided. At the end of the fast devotees feed beggars or worship little girls who spell the Shakti of the Mother Goddess. , This article is about the Indian state of Punjab. ...


Orissa

Orissa was part of the larger Bengal Presidency before it attained statehood in 1936. Many Bengali families had settled in Orissa especially Cuttack, the erstwhile capital city. They where engaged in business or were working for the Government. , Cuttack   (derived from the Sanskrit word Kataka, which signifies a military camp or a fort or a Government seat protected by an army) is one of the oldest cities in India and the Business Capital of Orissa. ...


The first recorded Durga Puja in the state is said to have been in the year 1832 in the Kazibajaar area of Cuttack. The festival found favour among the Oriyas who assisted Bengali families in the organization of the Pujas. Due to differences which cropped up in later years the Oriya people opted to organise and celebrate the Puja independently.


A pandal in Orissa is called "Merrha". The most expensive installation for a long time was the ChaandiMerrha (Chaandi means Silver) of Choudhuri Bajaar area of Cuttack. The reason was the ornamentation which was done entirely in Silver. Substantial increase in funding has led to the gold plating of the ornamentation and hence it is now aptly known as "SunaMerrha" (Suna means Gold). A few other Pujas in Cuttack now have Silver ornaments too.


The Durga Puja festivities are also very much prominient in Maa Cuttack Chandi temple. Maa Cuttack Chandi is the presiding deity of Cuttack. The Goddess popularly called as Maa Katak Chandi, sits and rules on the heart of the ancient city. She is worshiped as Bhubaneswari. Maa Chandi is worshipped in various incarnations of Durga during the puja. In Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as The Living Goddess.


In size the largest Pujas are held in Bhubaneswar with the trio of Shaheed Nagar, Nayapalli and Rasulgarh spending the most on the idols, decorations, lighting etc. — , Bhubaneswar   (Oriya: ଭୁବନେଶ୍ବର, Hindi: भुवनेश्वर, in Sanskrit and Oriya/oDiA, The Lord of the Universe) or the temple city of India is a city located on the eastern coast of India. ...


One reason for the wide acceptance Durga Puja has found in the state, apart from the proximity to Bengal and a common socio-cultural history spanning millennia, is the importance of Maa Tarini who is considered as one of the embodiments of Shakti in Oriya culture. Orissa is home to many important shrines dedicated to the Goddess and great festivities are organised there on the occasion of Durga and Kali Puja. Hindu goddess worshiped in Berhampur. ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ...


It is thus one of the prime festivals of Orissa as well. People in Orissa celebrate it on a large scale and the Goddess Durga is among the sacred goddesses of Orissa.The celebrations are quite similar to the neighbouring state of West Bengal. , Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ...


Karnataka

It is celebrated in a grand way in this state.In Mysore, Dussehra is easily the most popular festival. Elephants are decked up with robes and jewelery and taken in processions through the streets of the city. In fact, many people visit Mysore from all over the country to watch this colorful event. There is also a floating festival in the temple tank at the foot of Chamundi Hill and a procession of chariots around the temple at the top.


Interestingly Mysore is named after Mahishasur, the very demon which was slain by the Goddess. The original Indian name was Mahishur. There are temples dedicated to the demon king and even a gigantic statue of the demon in the city.


Gujarat

Navratri is devoted to Amba mataji. In some homes, images of mataji are worshiped in accordance with accepted practice. This is also true of the temples, which usually have a constant stream of visitors from morning to night. The most common form of public celebration is the performance of garba and dandia-ras/ras-garba (a form of garba with sticks), Gujarat's popular folk-dance, late throughout the nights of these nine days in public squares, open grounds and streets. This article is for the Indian state. ...


Kerala

In Kerala, Durga Puja signifies the beginning of formal education for every child aged 3-5 years. While puja goes on in the temple for all ten days, it is only the concluding three days which are really important. Ashtami is the day of Ayudya Puja, when all the tools at home are worshiped. Custom dictates that no tools be used on this day. On navami, day, Goddess Saraswati is honored by worshiping the books and records at home.Thousands throng the Saraswati temple at Kottayam during this period to take a dip in the mysterious holy pond whose source is yet unknown. Large gatherings are also seen at the famous temples at Thekkegram (Palghat), in which there are no idols -- only huge mirrors. A devotee finds himself bowing before his own reflection which indicates that God is within us. Thrikkavu Temple, a famous Durga Devi Temple at Ponnani, Malapuram Distric of Kerala in India is also famous for Navarathri festival and vidyarambham(beginning of formal education). Thousands of children throng this temple on vijaya desami day for vidyarambham. , Kerala ( ; Malayalam: കേരളം; ) is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. ... Thrikkavu Sri Durga Bhagavathy Temple is an ancient Temple situated in Ponnani, Malapuram District, Kerala State, India. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... , Ponnani is a coastal town and a municipality in Malappuram district in the Indian state of Kerala. ... Malappuram district, Kerala Malappuram is a city in Kerala state, India. ... , Kerala ( ; Malayalam: കേരളം; ) is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Dussehra. ...


Kashmir

Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir celebrate their festivals with pomp and show. These days, festivities are subdued, though. The favorite deities of Kashmir are Lord Shiva and Serawali Ma Durga, the one who rides the tiger. Pundits and Muslims alike vouch that Navratri is important. No big pandals here, each Hindu house-hold does the pooja at home. All the adult members of the household fast on water. In the evenings, fruit may be taken. As elsewhere, Kashmiris grow barley in earthen pots. They believe that if the growth in this pot is good, there is prosperity all year.The most important ritual for Kashmiri Pandits is to visit the temple of guardian goddess Kheer Bhawani on all nine days. On the last day of Navratri, an aarti is held at the temple after which people break their fast. On Dussehra day, Ravana's effigy is burnt. Kashmir (or Cashmere) may refer to: Kashmir region, the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent India, Kashmir conflict, the territorial dispute between India, Pakistan, and the China over the Kashmir region. ...


Durga Puja outside India

Durga Puja is celebrated by the Indian diaspora residing in different parts of the world. It is also celebrated in regions and by people culturally and historically distinct from India.


Bangladesh

Apart from India, there are lots of Puja Pandals in Bangladesh where Durga Puja usually celebrated by the Bangladeshi people. Although Bandladesh is called Muslim country, Durga Puja and other Hindu religious festivals are appraised by all kinds of religious people along with Christmas and Buddha Purnima. Government announces government holiday in the day of Durga immersion(Bijoya Dashami). In every districts of Bangladesh as well as in Thana and villages, people organize this festival. Besides, in the district and big cities Puja usually more luminous and glowing because of electric lights and big budget. Now-a-days, most of the Puja is organized by different groups of people of particular area or business organizations with collecting money from all kinds of people within their budget. In 2007, the approximate number of Puja Mandap in Bangladesh is 20,649 [1]. A puja as performed in Ujjain during the Monsoon on the banks of the overflowing river Shipra. ... There is also a collection of Hadith called Sahih Muslim A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Persian: Mosalman or Mosalmon Urdu: مسلمان, Turkish: Müslüman, Albanian: Mysliman, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. ... A village is a human settlement commonly found in rural areas. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Nepal

Dussehra in Nepal is called Dashain. Being a largely Hindu nation, the pattern and dates of the festivals coincide. The King of Nepal plays a key role in the festivities particularly during Saptami or the Seventh day of the pujas. Despite the overthrow of monarchy in Nepal, the Royal Family still has a significant socio-cultural role in the nation. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


United States,Europe and Australia

Durga Puja is organised by communities comprising of Indians in the US ,Europe and Australia. Although pandals are not constructed, the idols are flown in from Kumartuli in Bengal. An ever increasing diaspora abroad wishing to keep in touch with its cultural ties has led to a boom in religious tourism and priests or purohits versed in the rites.


Theme based Pujas and Pandals

Pandals and Idols inspired by a particular theme have been the hallmark of many community or Sarbajanin Pujas in Calcutta since the 1990s. Puja committees decide on a particular theme whose elements are then incorporated into the pandal and the idols. Popular themes include ancient civilizations like the Egyptians or Incas. Contemporary subjects like the Titanic and Harry Potter have also been the subject in some pandals. For other meanings of Inca, see Inca (disambiguation). ... Look up titanic, Titanic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ...


The design and decoration is usually done by art and architecture students based in the city. The budget required for such theme based pujas is often higher than traditional pujas although they are big crowd pullers and are well received. Inspired by Calcutta, theme based pandals are now coming up in cities in neighbouring states particularly Orissa (see above) although experimentation with the idols is virtually non-existent outside Calcutta.


Environmental impact

Image of Durga being immersed in water. This has led to harm to aquatic life of many plants and animals
Image of Durga being immersed in water. This has led to harm to aquatic life of many plants and animals

"Commercialisation of Hindu festivals like Durga Puja in the last quarter of 20th century have become a major environmental concern as devout Hindus want bigger and brighter idols and are no longer happy with the ones made from eco-friendly materials," said Ramapati Kumar, a toxics campaigner for Greenpeace. Environmentalists say the idols are often made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, cement and plaster of Paris and painted using toxic dyes.[2] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... An idol is a man-made object that is venerated in some way. ... Look up Campaign in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Greenpeace protest against Esso / Exxon Mobil. ... The term idol (from Latin idolum: image, form) is used in various contexts: In religion, man-made worshipped articles are idols; their worship is called idolatry. ... Biodegradation is the decomposition of material by microorganisms. ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Cement (disambiguation). ... This article is about the building material. ... Look up dye in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Environmentalists believe such materials do not dissolve easily and reduce the oxygen level in the water resulting in the death of fish and other aquatic organisms. Also, the paints used contain heavy metals such as mercury, chromium and lead which are carcinogenous, said activists, adding that this could adversely affect drinking water. General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... General Name, symbol, number chromium, Cr, 24 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 6, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 51. ... This article is about the metal. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ...


Popular culture specific to the puja

Durga Puja is one of the most important events in the Bengali society's calendar. Many Bengali films, albums and books are released to coincide with the Puja. The West Bengal government gives a fortnight of holidays for the Pujas. This time is used in various ways. Many go for travelling either in India or abroad. Gatherings of friends called "Aadda" in Bengali is common in many homes and restaurants. A lot of shopping is done and retailers cash in on this opportunity with offers.


Visiting Pandals with friends and family and engaging in chit chat or sampling the food sold near them is known as Pandal Hopping. It is actively engaged in by the youth. TV and Radio channels telecast Puja celebrations. Many Bengali channels devote whole days for the Pujas.


Bengali and Oriya weekly magazines bring out special issues for the Puja known as "Pujobaarshiki" or "Sharadiya Sankhya". These contain the works of many writers both established and upcoming and are thus much bigger than the regular issues. Some notable examples are Anandamela and Shuktara. Anandamela is a childrens periodical published by Ananda Publishers in Calcutta,India. ...


See also

Durga Puja 2007, or the five day Durga Puja festival honouring the Goddess Durga, was celebrated with vigour from 2007-10-17 (ষষ্টী, shashthi) to 2007-10-21(দশমী, dashami), all over the lands where Bengalis and other Eastern Indian proples live. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ...

References

  1. ^ Durga Puja in Bangladesh in 2007
  2. ^ Synthetic idols trigger environmental concerns
  • Durga Puja Beginner, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Devi Mandir, 2001. (ISBN 1-887-47289-4)

External links

Look up Durga Puja in
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Durga Puja Stories,Durga Puja Legends,Story & Legends of Durga Pooja (462 words)
Durga Puja Stories,Durga Puja Legends,Story and Legends of Durga Pooja
Goddess Durga represents a united front of all Divine forces against the negative forces of evil and wickedness.
The image of Durga, the Eternal Mother destroying the demon, Mahishasur is symbolic of the final confrontation of the spiritual urge of man with his baser passions.
Durga Puja - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1399 words)
Puja means "worship," and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Ashshin, which is the sixth month in the Bengali calendar.
The pujas are held over a five-day period, which is traditionally viewed as the coming of the married daughter, Durga, to her father, Himalaya's home.
Puja is performed each day and devotees don't remove the flower garland that is put each day on the idol or image of the deity.
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