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Durga Puja Festival in Pandemic: A celebration of Good Over Evil!

This holds true for the year 2020!

Throw this trash away (if only we could).

The virus with a devilish countenance is not going any time soon. So, Durga Puja 2020 is surely a battle of good over evil. Similar to Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid, and other major festivals, Durga Puja will be in-line with the pandemic rules.

Here’s a quick checklist that the 4-day long festival needs to follow as a consequence of the new normal:


Wearing a mask is the most important manner of 2020. So, while visiting pandals, people need to put on a mask. Most of the Puja committees in Bengal are planning to place the idols on an elevated platform for the visitors to get a glimpse of Ma Durga without entering the marquee area.

However, considering the strong sentiments of Bengalis, most of the clubs are allowing entry with terms and conditions applied. Apart from making masks mandatory, pandals in Kolkata will have sanitizer tunnels for entry and exit.

Drive-in Pandals

This will be something new for the people of West Bengal. During the usual time, entry of vehicles are blocked due to the overflowing of people. So much so that it becomes difficult for those maddening crowd to make way for the pandals, let alone cars.

Nevertheless, this year drive-in pandals have been put forward which might act as a practical solution in certain wider streets. People who loathed pandal hopping can breathe a sigh of relief!

Look On the Bright ‘Side’

You should always. People of the Puja committees in Kolkata are doing the same. That’s why they have introduced open air pandals with 3 or 4 open sides. This is a major way to maintain social distance among the visitors. Moreover, pandals won’t be covered to allow enough ventilation.

Binge Watch with Live Streaming

Take a break from the OTT platforms and immerse yourself to embrace the divinity. Because  Durga Puja committees in places like Pune have resorted to online streaming of the rituals. Be it Sandhi Puja or Pushpanjali, everything will be online. Remember the online celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi?

Tired of hearing the normal-new? Okay, some interesting trivia for you:

According to the ritual, the vahana that Goddess Durga uses to arrive and depart is an indication of how the year will be. In this year, the 10-armed warrior will arrive on the palanquin and depart on a boat. These two rides have individual significance. As per the scriptures, arrival on the palanquin indicates plague and boat portends flood respectively.

In 2019, Ma arrived and departed on the horse. Scholars say, the arrival and departure on the same vahana is an ill omen. Not to mention, soon after the Puja last year, the pandemic started!

Too much? Well, let’s talk about everything that you need to know about this biggest festival Bengalis loved across the globe.

Durga Puja Festival is one of the greatest festivals of the Bengali community it is also known as Durgotsav.

It is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of the Hindu culture. Another festival which marks the victory of good over evil.

Where is it Celebrated?

Durga Puja festival is celebrated with great zeal and joy mainly in the states of Bengal, Assam and other eastern states of India.

Apart from the eastern states, Durga Puja gathers huge fanfare in Siliguri, Mumbai, Patna, Jamshedpur and various other cities.

Many Indian organisations also organise the festivities of Durga Puja in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and many other countries.

Also Read: VISHU Festival 2020 – Kerala New Year (Meaning, Story, Rituals)

The Religious Belief

 Durga Puja is celebrated every year to remember Goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura, thus depicting victory of good over evil. This festival is also a post-monsoon harvest festival which celebrates Goddess Durga as the ultimate power behind life and creation.

It is a 10-day long event held in the Hindu month of Ashvina. It begins on the same day as the nine nights long celebration of Navratri, the festival worshipping the divine Goddess.

Durga Puja’s first day is marked as Mahalaya. The main celebration begins on the sixth day, known as Sasthi. The festival consists of Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami and Maha Navmi.

Though mainly Goddess Durga is worshipped by the devotees , the celebrations also include worshipping other Hindu deities such as Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswati, Ganesha, Kartikey, because in the Bengali tradition, they are believed to be Goddess Durga’s children.

The festival concludes on the tenth day, known as Vijay Dashami which marks the end of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. On this day the idols are immersed into water which symbolises the return of goddess Durga to her marital home back in Kailash, to her husband Lord Shiva.

The Celebrations

Durga Pandals

People of all age groups purchase new clothes and go out to visit various pandals all over the city. The pandals are decorated according to various themes and cultures at different places, which makes Durga Puja a perfect example of rich culture, liveliness, and cultural heritage!On this day people also pay a visit to their relatives and the young ones seek the blessings of their elders.

Sindoor Khela

After ghat visarjan which is a symbolic immersion of Goddess Durga and also marks the end of this 10-day long celebration, married women put sindoor or vermillion on their foreheads and on feet of Goddess Durga. Post this these womenfolk celebrate with each other by applying sindoor to each others faces and pray for their husbands long lives.

Celebrations in Different Regions

 There exists a variation in how Durga Puja is celebrated all over India. While it is celebrated by animal sacrifice in regions of Bengal, Assam, etc. In Rajasthan, the people worship their horses and swords as a way to celebrate the festival. The rituals of the celebration also vary from Vedic to Puranic to Tantric. The typical Bengali Puja is a combination of all three.

Ancient to Modern day significance!

The prominence of Durga Puja increased during the colonial rule, majorly in the states of Bengal and Assam. Today, the importance of Durga Puja is as much as a social and cultural festival as a religious one. The festival of Durga Puja has always been of great significance. It has been nominated by the Indian government for the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Even after so many years, from being celebrated since the 14th century, Durga Puja has been of great importance and Goddess Durga has kept blessing all her devotees with their wishes. It is one of the largest festivals of the world and our nation’s pride!

History has seen Durga Puja evolve over time to now being more elaborate and creative. To indulge themselves in the festivities of Durga Puja, all the educational institutions, offices, and business houses remain closed. This is also the time for the main shopping sale of the year to take place.

During Durga Puja festival, various shops offer heavy discounts on items and the companies offer gifts to their employees as a token of goodwill. Thousands of pilgrims and people come out on the streets during this occasion for enjoying to the fullest! During this period, one can also get to taste the mouth-watering delicacies of Bengal! 

Durga Puja 2020 will be celebrated from October 23 to October 26. No matter how deadly the virus is, the spirit of the revellers and devotees are still high. Hopefully, next year the festival will revive its charm and glory. Till then, Bolo Dugga Mai Ki Joy!

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