8 Rituals That Make Durga Puja 2023 An Intangible Heritage
Every festival has charm and significance, whether Navaratri or Durga Puja. From waking early to observing fast, traditions and rituals are deeply rooted in our minds and soul. However, this time of the year smells different as we tend to get a step closer to spirituality.
Durga Puja 2023 marks the beginning of a celestial occasion for every Bengali. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the preparations associated with this festival start a year before its arrival.
Durga Puja is celebrated to mark the arrival of Maa Durga to her paternal home from Mount Kailash. Therefore, it is followed by huge celebrations, lights, good food, and some amazing rituals.
Talking about celebration and rituals, this festival celebrates Maa Durga's homecoming and her children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya. Therefore, during these five days of Durga puja, rigorous rituals and deeply rooted customs are carried out.
Having said that, more than any ritual or custom, the primary significance of this festival is the emotions attached to it.
In this article, we shall go through some of the amazing rituals that make Durga Puja so special.
8 Rituals That Make Durga Puja An Intangible Heritage
Rituals and customs are the backbone of Indian festivals, from observing fasts to offering prayers, every Indian festival begins with with a sigh of hope and heart full of devotion. Rituals and traditions differ in different festivals. However, the motive behind performing these rituals and traditions remains the same. The concept of spirituality has evolved over the years, and new generations are more involved in discovering the facts and values behind these traditions.
As the countdown for Durga Puja 2023. the biggest festival of Bengalis begins, the city get adorned like a bride. From feasts to firecrackers, everything sums up to welcome the arrival of Maa Durga.
Besides good food, late-night outings, pandal hopping, and new clothes, Durga puja is also about some of the most amazing rituals that have a specific significance of their own.
Here, let us look at some of the most common rituals performed during this puja that make it so special.
Durga Puja begins with Bodhon, which is performed on Shoshti, the sixth day of Navaratri. Rama initiated this autumnal worship to seek the Goddess's blessings before defeating Ravana. Therefore, Bodhon is the ceremony of invoking the Goddess by performing some rituals in the evening. This also marks the beginning of Durga Puja.
Anjali / Pushpanjali
Pushpanjali or Anjali is the process of offering prayer to the Goddess. While the priest performs the rites and rituals involved in the ceremony, prayers are offered with flowers and bel leaves. This takes place on all three days, from Saptami (the 7th day of Navaratri) to Navami (the 9th day of Navaratri). The time for Anjali is usually in the morning, and fasting before this process is customary.
However, people who celebrate Navaratri undergo rigorous fasting, which involves immense dedication and stamina. To help you kickstart your fasting preparation for Navaratri 2023, Satvic Foods brings you another article that talks and shares the tips and tricks that you may follow to last through your fast healthily.
Kumari Puja takes place on the eighth day of Navaratri, Ashtami. During this ritual, a pre-pubescent girl is worshipped as the living incarnation of Maa Durga. She is decked up like the Goddess and shares a seat next to her.
This ritual is significant in celebrating Durga Puja. It is celebrated at the moment when Ashtami ends and Navami begins. It marks the moment when Maa Durga emerged in her angry Chamunda form to kill the demons, Chanda and Munda. During this ritual, 108 lamps are lit, and it is believed that whoever lights a lamp during this ritual is blessed with hope and positivity in abundance.
Well, this is not just a ritual but a favorite indulgence of many. Dhunuchi Naach, or dancing with clay pots filled with incense burners, is a tradition that has been followed for ages. Here, men and women offer their Aarti to the Goddess by grooving to the rhythmic beats of the Dhaks. It is performed almost daily from Shashti to Dashami but is a significant ritual, especially on the Navami night.
As we move towards the end of this Magnus opus festival, Dashami, the 10th day calls for Shidur Khela or Shindur Khela, where women deck up in red and white sarees and prepare themselves to say goodbye to the Goddess. It is followed by women applying vermillion on the deity, other men, and married women. This is like a mini Holi but with vermillion.
In the tradition and culture of Bengal, it is believed that when a daughter leaves her paternal house to start her life with her husband, she is pampered and fed a lot of pom and pleasure. Shidur Khela marks the end of Durga Puja on a happy note as we say goodbye to Goddess Durga with a hope to welcome her the next year again.
The last day of Durga Puja marks the beginning of Bisarjan. On this day, the idol and her children are taken out for immersion. It marks the end of Durga Puja, and it is enough to make everyone emotional and sad. People offer their last goodbyes through prayers, kisses, and blessings, hoping to see her again the next year.
Men and women walk all the way to the Ghats to bid farewell, where the idol is finally immersed in the river. They dance and groove to the rhythmic beats of the Dhaks, marking the end of Durga Puja.
This is the day after Bisarjan and is celebrated as the annual festival of the year. Young people touch the feet of the elderly, seeking blessing and good wishes, while men and women of the same age hug out all indifferences and give a fresh start to relations.
As we move towards the end of the festival, Durga Puja 2023 dates will get etched in our hearts, and the wait for Durga Puja 2024 will begin.
Celebrate Durga Puja 2023 with Satvic Foods
Festivals and celebrations in India have their own significance and importance. While some celebrate to enjoy, some others do it out of spirituality. Be it Navaratri or Durga Puja, the process involved in carrying out these celebrations includes a lot of faith and belief.
The customs and traditions associated with Durga puja are more about emotions and personal attachment. Here, the arrival of Maa Durga is seen as the daughter's arrival at her paternal home. She is worshipped with love and taken care of by every possible means.
Satvic Foods’ extends our heartfelt greetings and good wishes to you and your family on this Navaratri and Durga Puja. May your celebrations be as natural and genuine as the love and affection we send you via our products. May you never cease to find spiritual peace and experience happiness at every juncture of your life.
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Navaratri and a very Happy Durga Puja 2023!