Maha Sashti (Durga Shashti) is the sixth day during Durga Navratri pooja and this day marks the beginning of Durga Puja in Bengal and some other East Indian states. In 2013, Durga Shashti date is October 10. Sashti during Durga Navaratri is also marks the beginning of Devi Triratra Vrata. On this day, Saraswati Puja starts.
Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is the consort of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. With her Abhaya and Varada mudras (blessing postures), Goddess Mahalakshmi blesses her devotees with prosperity and wealth.
In Bengal and Orissa, on Durga Puja Sashti, the rituals known as Kalparambho, Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas are performed. Kalparambho is the beginning of Durga Puja and Bodhon is unveiling the face of Durga idol or pratima.
On Mahasashti day, in South India and some other parts of India, Mother Goddess is decorated as Sri Maha Saraswati Devi. Devi in this attire, adorned with white silk sari hence she is called as Swetha Vastra Dharini. Saraswati devi has a beautiful white swan (Shwetha Hamsa) as Vaahana. In Vijayawada Kanakadurga temple, Saraswati puja is held with utmost gusto.
Durga Shashti 2012 date was October 20.