Durga Puja in Gujarat
Durga puja is a festival of traditions and joy. The puja is dedicated to deity Durga who is the goddess of divine power against all evils. It is the combination of celebration of culture, customs and joy. It is one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal. Here, in Gujarat, Navratri is performed. There are various ways in which Maa Durga is worshipped. The main thing that vary are the rituals and customs and that is due to the difference in culture of Indian states. The beauty of festivals not only lies on the arrival of goodness but also the paraphernalia that has got attached to the festival over decades. Something or other keeps on happening hence all the times.
I am a Gujarati girl married to a bengali guy. So today I am here to take you all to a tour of Puja, how it happens here!! How people of Gujarat celebrate Durga puja…!!
The festival is celebrated in a large scale and the cities here in Gujarat are dotted with so many beautiful pandals. Here, the Puja begins from Maha Shasthi day. Then after the main puja is performed for three days.i.e. Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami. The whole area of Pujo pandals are just glittered up with colourful lights, music and there is so much of happiness all around. People here comes from many different castes to enjoy the celebration. They just lined up before the pandals to have a look of the idol which is crafted and carved so skill fully.
The most auspicious day of Durga Puja is the day of Ashtami. Almost everyone, every Bengali is looking forward to make flower offering to the goddess in the morning of the eight day of Puja. For Gujarat, its also those non-bengalis, they are also waiting eagerly for their turn to offer flowers to Maa, a purely not to be missed experience. Here in Gujarat, Durga puja is mainly celebrated in big community halls, glittering lights and diverse crowd. The puja provides an excellent opportunity to teach children about their culture. Specially for the parent like me, as I am from a Gujarati gamily and my in-laws stays far away. So being married to a bengali guy and helping my children learn those bengali rituals and traditions, this is the best time.
During morning time, devotees offers Pushpanjali, recites mantras and offer flowers to Maa Durga.
Not only Khichuri, but Whole durga pujo bhog is so vibrant and delicious. Durga pujo bhog has also other veggie items along with khichuri. In few places, they have dishes to serve on while at others, thats sal leaf plates. Everyone is waiting in queue in heat to get their turn to relish the bhog. Thats the Bengalis love and craziness for Bhoger Khichuri. Its accompanied by Begun bhaja, Rasogulla / Kala jam , Tomator chatni and Sabzi.
There are a number of cultural programmes lined up which includes dance, drama, quiz etc. Here, the Durga puja is not just about the bengalis. We also have people from other communities entering the pandals and enjoying everything, whether its food, pujo or watching out cultural programmes. It really attracts people from far off places. Its also the time of Sandhya Aarti and all the devotees are just geared up to pay homage to Maa. At each pandal, a priest is appointed, who waves numerous diyas and lightnings before the goddess while the other devotees also perform Dhunuchi Naach to the best of beats of Dhaak.
There are lots of shopping items sold at stalls near the pandals.Every single person visiting the pandals wants to have a look to the stalls which has clothes and other accessories, alta, sindoor, shakhapola , sweets etc. They buy this food items from stalls for themselves and for gifting purpose too.
In Gujarat, people are really damn crazy about food. Specially when it comes to spicy and delivious food items. Food is their weakness. We do have food stalls all around the pujo pandals which generally works in evening only. So during puja days, almost every kitchen is locked and people have their dinner from these stalls watching cultural programmes. All things made so traditional and have very authentic taste, that people loves relishing on those food items.
On the last day of Durga puja, all the married women indulges in a sindoor (Vermillion) khela (playing with sindoor) They smear on the pretty face of Maa Durga first and then besmearing on each others face as well, which is also known as the sacred powder as a mark of goodwill, luck and auspiciousness. Since sindoor is like an ornament for married woman, this ritual signifies them wishing each other happy married life.
The festival ends at Vijaya Dashami day. It is said that Goddess Durga leaves for her return to Mount Kailash. With heavy heart bengalis immerse the idol of goddess int he river or pond. Its really an emotional day for few of them to say good bye to goddess. Few signs emotional good bye songs too. When the idol is immersed in the water, the clay dissolves, and she is believed to return to Mount Kailash.
This blog post is a part of #BloggersDurgaPujo Series.
List of Participating Bloggers
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Esha Chakraborty: https://bookhippo.wordpress.com
Indrani Ghose: https://isharethese.com
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Dr. Kuheli Bhattacharya: http://www.thefoodietrails.com
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Nehal Roy: http://www.easyhomeremedies.co.in
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Sayanti Mahapatra: http://bingeonbasics.com
Shalini Magdel Das: http://lostloveadventure.com/
Shamik Byabartta: http://www.mixedflavorsblog.com
Sharmishtha S Ghosh: https://letstalkjhaalmishti.wordpress.com
Shruti Dugar: http://webofwords.in
Siya Bose: https://bestylechic.wordpress.com
Sonali Chauhan: https://sonalichauhanreviews.wordpress.com
Sonia Chatterjee: https://soniasmusings.com
Vasundhara Sarkar: http://thesassyshimmer.blogspot.com