durga puja

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Durga Puja

Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
21. Celebration of various type
The day of Durgas victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami Bengali, Dashain Nepali or Dussehra Hindi these words literally mean the Victory of Tenth day.In North India, the tenth day, signifying Ramas victory in his battle against the demon, is celebrated as gigantic straw effigies of Ravana are burnt in designated open spaces.In Mysore Karnataka, she is worshipped as Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the city during Dussehra.In Gujarat it is celebrated as the last day of Navaratri, during which the Garba dance is performed to celebrate the vigorous victory of Mahishasuramardini Durga.In Maharashtra Tulja Bhavani and Ambabai is worshipped as Mahishasur Mardini and is patron goddess of land. Bhavani is known as Tulaja, Amba, Renuka, Yamai, Saptshrungi, Jogai in different places of Maharashtra.
22. India Celebrates Durga Puja
The fiveday Durga Puja begins Saturday, forming part of the Navratri, nine nights of Hindu fasting and worship.Durga Puja honors the female deity Durga, who is depicted as a warrior, symbolic of power and rage. Durga is revered across much of India, but perhaps most in West Bengal, the state governed by India most outspoken female politician, Mamata Banerjee.Devotees believe that Durga came to earth and defeated the shapeshifting demon Mahishasura, slaying him with a spear whilst astride a lion.Huge, painted mud and straw statues of the deity are made for the festival. The idol is often cast with ten arms, with each hand clasping a different weapon. The towering height of the statues is intended to indicate the triumph of good over evil.Sacrificial animals and hot foods are offered during Durga Puja in order to stimulate her vengeful violence, according to Chris.J. Fuller in his book, The Camphor Flame Popular Hinduism and Society in India. The writer describes Durga as ferocious and quickly angered.During Durga Puja, devotees submerge the statues of Durga in rivers and lakes to symbolize her return to mud from which she was made. Kolkata Hooghly River is a focal point during this part of the festival.Durga Puja is carried out with different customs depending on the state.Bengalis, particularly women living away from home, often return to families during the festival.
23. Transform of the community or Sarbajanin puja
Initially the Puja was organised by rich families since they had the money to organise the festival. During the late 19th and early 20th century, a burgeoning middle class, primarily in Calcutta, wished to observe the Puja. They created the community or Sarbojanin Pujas.These Pujas are organised by a committee which represents a locality or neighbourhood. They collect funds called chaanda through doortodoor subscriptions, lotteries, concerts etc. These funds are pooled and used for the expenses of pandal construction, sculpture construction, ceremonies etc. The balance of the fund is generally donated to a charitable cause, as decided by the committee. Corporate sponsorships of the Pujas have gained momentum since the late 1990s. Major Pujas in Calcutta and in major metro areas such as Delhi and Chennai now derive almost all of their funds from corporate sponsorships. Community fund drives have become a formality.Despite the resources used to organise a Puja, entry of visitors into the Pandal is always free. Pujas in Calcutta and elsewhere experiment with innovative concepts every year. Communities have created prizes for Best Pandal, Best Puja, and other categories.
24. Creation of the sculptures
The entire process of creation of the sculptures murti 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 sculptures is collected from the banks of a river, preferably the Ganges. There is ageold custom of collecting a handful of soil punya mati from the nishiddho pallis of Calcutta, literally forbidden territories, where sex workers live, and adding it to the clay mixture which goes into the making of the Durga sculpture.[citation needed] After the required rites, the clay is transported. An important event is Chakkhu Daan, literally donation of the eyes. Starting with Devi Durga, the eyes of the sculptures are painted on Mahalaya or the first day of the pujas. Before painting on the eyes, the artisans fast for a day and eat only vegetarian food.Many Pujas in and around Kolkata buy their sculptures from Kumartuli also Kumortuli, an artisans town in north Calcutta.
25. Environmental impact
Environmental hazards from the materials used to make and colour the sculptures pollute local water sources, as the sculptures are brought directly into the river at the end of festivities. Efforts are underway to introduce ecofriendly materials to the artisans who make the sculptures. West Bengal has been credited by its own environmental agency as being possibly the first Indian State to successfully curb the use of hazardous paints. However, by their own account, only twothirds of the sculptures made are currently coloured with ecofriendly paints.Commercialization 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 sculptures. Environmentalists say the sculptures are often made from hazardous materials like cement, plastic, plaster of Paris, and toxic paints.
26. Themebased pujas and pandals
Pandals and sculptures inspired by a particular theme have been the hallmark of many community or Sarbajanin Pujas in Kolkata since the 1990s. Puja committees decide on a particular theme, whose elements are incorporated into the pandal and the sculptures. Popular themes include ancient civilisations like the Egyptians or Incas. Contemporary subjects like the RMS Titanic and Harry Potter have also been the subject in some pandals.The design and decoration is usually done by art and architecture students based in the city. The budget required for such themebased pujas is often higher than traditional pujas.
They attract crowds and are well received. Inspired by Kolkata, themebased pandals are becoming popular in cities in neighbouring states, particularly Odisha see above. Experimentation with the sculptures does not happen much outside Calcutta. Rapid growth of competitiveness in theme pandals, and also rapid growth of massive billboards that come up at strategic junctions, prior to Puja and allied commercial activities, has also created a cultural backlash from citys traditional Puja pandals, which now claim, We do not do theme puja, we do Durga puja, according to one hoarding put up in Salt Lake, Kolkata.
27. Popular culture specific to the puja
Durga Puja is one of the most important events in the Bengali societys 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 people travel 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 special offers.Visiting pandals with friends and family, talking and sampling the food sold near them is known as pandal hopping. Young people embrace this activity. Pujor Gaan Songs of Puja are the Adhunik Bengali songs that come out every year during this time.
28. Media attention
TV and radio channels telecast Puja celebrations. Many Bengali channels devote whole days to the Pujas. Bengali and Oriya weekly magazines bring out special issues for the Puja known as Pujabarshiki 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, Shuktara, Desh, Sarodiya Anandabazar Patrika, Sananda, Nabakallol, Bartaman All major local news publications are closed on the last day of the festivities.
29. Durga Puja in West Bengal
The worship of Durga in the autumn Shrot is the years largest Hindu festival of Bengal. Durga Puja is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan according to local traditions and variations. Puja means worship, and Durgas Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waning moon in the month of Ashvin Ashshin, 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, Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, these dates correspond to the months of September and October.In the Krittibas Ramayana, Rama invokes the goddess Durga in his 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 Ramas date for the puja that has gained ascendancy, although the spring puja, known as Basanti Puja [One of the oldest sabeki Basanti Puja is held every year at spring in Barddhaman Pal Bari at Raniganga Bazar, M.K. Chatterjee Rd near Karjon Gate], is also present in the Hindu almanac. Another famous portrait of Basanti Puja, can be found in Tangra Rakhal Chandra Das Bari, which is more than half and a century old. Since the season of the puja is autumn, it is also known as Sharodia.
30. Durga Puja in 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 pandalhopping with their friends and family. Traffic comes to a standstill, and indeed, most people abandon their vehicles to travel by foot after a point. A special task force is deployed to control law and order. Durga Puja in Kolkata is often referred to as the Rio Carnival of the Eastern Hemisphere.

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