Durga Puja 2022: History, Significance, and the Story
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“Bajlo Tomar Alor Benu” (The flute of your arrival has started off.) is the trumpet of Durga Puja, the greatest ever festival of Bengalis. Thousands of Bengalis worldwide wait eagerly for this grand festival and celebrate it in their own way. The festival starts with Mahalaya, which is the end of Pitripaksha (Fortnight of Ancestors) and the beginning of Devipaksha (The fortnight of the goddess). Though the essence of the festival starts just after Mahalaya, the festival begins on the sixth day of Devipaksha, which is called Sasthi. Thus, the celebration continues with the progression of days like Saptami (the seventh day), Ashtami (the eighth day), Navami (the Ninth day), and Dashami (the Tenth day).
The festival is known as the Hindu festival. But, such is the beauty of Bengal that people from every religion participate in the festival without any barriers. This is a great congregation where everyone believes that goddess Durga will abolish all their misery and agony just as she defeated Ashura (The evil force).
October is vibrant not only in Bengal but in entire India. When Bengalis burst with joy during the Durga Puja, India celebrates Navratri and Dussehra. As Durga Puja’s story is deeply interwoven with Dussehra, you will find it interesting. Know what Dussehra is and where it is celebrated.
When Is Durga Puja in 2022?
Durga Puja 2022 starts on the 1st of October, a Saturday, and ends on the 5th of October. Dashami, or Dussehra, on the 5th of October, is the last day of this grand celebration. Though this day comes with a melancholy tone, it also brings a message,
“Asche bochor abar hobe.” (The festival is coming again next year.) This positive note at the end is introduced especially for the children. Children at this time of year stay extra energetic. They play, laugh and enjoy their heart out. Why not channel their energy into some positive activities? Stories are the most fantastic tool ever to engage children. Let us know the history of the Durga Puja and enchant our little ones with a detailed account.
History of the Puja
As every phenomenal event has a long story behind it, so has the Durga Puja. There are multilayered stories behind this festival. The nature of mythological stories is to change with time and social patterns. The same happened with this festival too.
An account of mythology says that Uma or Parvati is the daughter of king Daksha. This beautiful daughter tied her marriage knot with Shiva or Rudra, the God of destruction. She became the saviour of Devkul and Patal (Earth) by defeating Mahisasura (the tremendous evil power).
Another story tells that the God Brahma blessed Mahisashura. With this blessing, he became undefeatable. No man or animal on earth can defeat him. When all the Gods were helpless and came to seek help from Brahma, he came up with a solution. As the blessing did not mention “woman”, all the Gods created Goddess Durga. A woman with extreme power and determination conquered evil power with her goodwill and purity.
Why Durga Puja is Celebrated?
Durga is the goddess of strength who overcame all the evil that would come with her stern determination. This victory reminds us of another great triumph of Ramayana. Yes, you have guessed it right. Durga Puja is deeply rooted in the story of Ramayana.
Usually, the Durga Puja used to be celebrated in July, and it is known as “Basanti Puja.” The celebration throughout October is known as “Akal Bodhan”, which Rama inaugurated. In Ramayana, Rama found it challenging to conquer Ravana at first as he was blessed with immortality. So, he decided to worship goddess Durga as she destroyed something impossible. This untimely worship of Goddess Durga and the victory of Rama bring happiness to all Indians every year.
Who Started Durga Puja?
The history of the Durga Puja celebration in Bengal is dated back to the mid-18th century. Nabakrishna Deb at Shobhabazar Rajbari inaugurated Durga Puja and set a novel pattern for celebration. Durga Puja became a status symbol for the upcoming merchant class in Kolkata. Shobhabazar Rajbari has, to date, been a symbol of pride and heritage for Bengalis, especially during Durga Puja.
In clubs that organise drawing competitions for kids during the festival, Shobhabazar Rajbari’s Durga idol is one of the most chosen Durga Puja drawings. The grandeur and stature of this festival never fail to touch every form of life.
What We Can Learn from Durga Puja?
Durga Puja is not only a festival; it incorporates thousands of emotions of a nation. Every year Goddess Durga comes and makes us realise that evil power can never conquer the goodwill and purity of our hearts. In Durga Puja 2022, teach your child this mantra of zeal, and you will see them winning in every path of their lives.
Durga Maa comes and goes every year after four days of grand celebration. We start counting the days just after the festival ends. These four days are a treat to our soul and a resource to live a more rejuvenated life. But, these four days give us oxygen for the rest of the year.