Durga Puja is one of the most celebrated festivals in Bengal. Durga Pooja starts with Mahalaya traditionally, the first phase of the waxing moon in Aashin maas (Ashwin month). Mahashashti, also known as Durga Puja shashti, is the inauguration day of Durga Puja in Bengal. The main Durga Pooja starts on Maha Saptami. Mahanavami marks the conclusion of Durga Puja. Durga Puja is performed for three days – Durga Shasthi, Mahashtami and Maha Navami.
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Maha Shashti Durga Pooja
On Mahashasti day, Goddess Durga arrives to our world from her abode. This day marks the welcoming of Durga. Kalparambho, Bodhon , Amontron and Adibas are the main rituals of Durga Shashti.
Maha Saptami Durga Puja
Mahasaptami is the beginning of Durga Puja. Kola bow, also known as Nabapatrika, is given a pre-dawn bath. Nabapatrika is an age-old ritual to worship nine types of plants. Maha Saptami Durga pooja follows Kalparambho and Mahasnan.
Maha Ashtami Durga Pooja
Mahashtami puja, also known as Durgashtami or Veerashtami, starts with reciting Sanskrit slokas and stotras. Devotees in large numbers offer anjali or Pushapanjali to Durga. Kumari Pooja or Kanya Puja is the main ritual on Mahashtami in household Durga Puja. Sandhi Puja or Shandhi Pooja is performed as an interlink between Mahashtami and Maha Nabami.
Maha Navami Durga Puja
Maha Navami is the culmination day of Durga Pooja. After performing Sandhi Puja, the main Maha Navami Puja is started. The Navami Bhog, special recipes made for the Goddess, are offered to Durga. After that, Prasad is distributed among the devotees.
Bijoya Dashami (Vijaya Dasami)
Three days of Durga Puja concludes with Bijoya Dashami day. Huge processions are organized to give the Goddess grand farewell. Durga Devi Visarjan culminates Durga Puja, the grand event of Bengal.