Of all the Hindu festivals, the Durga Puja is the most important. It is celebrated in honor of goddess Durga. Durga is the daughter of Himalaya and Menaka. She is transition of sati after her self-sacrifice. She was married to Shiva. The Puja began with Ram Chandra, who worshipped the Goddess Durga in the month of Asauj for the power to kill Ravana.
Idol of Durga
The goddess Durga is shown in an idol with daughter Lakshmi and Saraswati and two sons, Kartik and Ganesh and her husband Shiva. The goddess has ten hands. In each hand she carries weapon. She stands with one foot on her lion and the other on the back of the Asura. Laksmi stands on her right side. Saraswati stands on the left side. So do her two sons occupy the right side and the left.
The Puja lasts for three Days
The goddess Durga is worshipped with great devotion. It is done with great pomp and show. It provides delight to every Hindu household. It removes the darkness of disappointment from every life. The Puja is a season for common rejoining. School, offices and other places of work remain close for many days.
The Puja lasts for three days. The first day of the Puja is called Saptami. The second day is called Astami and the last day is called Navami. During the three days, goats, rams and buffaloes are scarified before the goddess. Each day, after the puja is over, the people gather together.
They lie prostrate before the goddess. They come back home with flowers and bela leaves. In the evening the Puja hall is beautifully lightened and the Arati is performed amidst the sound of drums and conches. On the Astami dat the Shakti Puja is performed. It is the most important ceremony. The way of worship on both days is the same.
After three days of rejoicings, comes the Bejoya day. It is a day of universal grief. On this day the immersion ceremony of the images takes place. The images is taken to the nearest tanks or rivers in a procession. The image is deceived to the river. It is a placed in a boat which is taken to the mid-stream where it is thrown into water. People then come back to their homes with sad hearts. In the evening people perform the Bejoya. The juniors touch the feet of seniors who bless the house. He prays to God to bless them with a long and happy life.