Dedicated to Maa Durga (Goddess Durga), Durga Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm in India. Durga Puja 2023 will be celebrated from 20th Oct to 24th Oct.

Durga Puja 2023

Durga Puja Celebrations

Durga Puja is a festival dedicated to the worship of the most revered Hindu goddess - Durga. MaaDurga or 'Shakti' is worshipped rigorously over the last five days of Navratri, in the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. The deity is depicted as a warrior goddess with fierce look, ten arms, and each hand holding a different weapon - symbolic of power and rage.

As per legends, Maa Durga defeated the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura, vanquishing him with a spear whilst astride a lion, after nine days of fierce battle. The festival thus exemplifies the triumph of Good over Evil.

When is Durga Puja in 2023

Below are dates for Durga Puja Celebrations in 2023:

Durga Puja is extensively celebrated in West Bengal, principally in the Bengali Hindu society, where it is not just a festival, but a major socio-cultural event. This Pan India festival is also celebrated with much fervor and devotion in Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, Delhi, Gujarat and Kerala to name a few.

The preparations for Durga Puja begin long before the occasion! Gigantic mud statues of the goddess are raised at a towering height to portray the triumph of good over evil. Huge 'pandals' are erected for housing these statues. The rituals of Durga Puja include observing rigorous fast and offering prayers to the Goddess to seek her blessings. Conch shells (shankha) are blown and drums (dhaks) are beaten rhythmically to announce the beginning of the aarti.

During Durga Puja, devotees turn up in large numbers to worship the deity, and later submerge the idols in rivers and lakes to indicate her return to mud from which she was made. The celebrations of Durga Puja have now gone far beyond religion, with communities bringing up contests for Best Pandal, Best Puja, and other categories. Nevertheless, the cultural milieu at Durga Puja pandals, encompassing public ceremonies, music, dance and art, remains to be an intrinsic part of the celebrations.