जय माँ दुर्गे
Durga Puja, ‘Worship of Durga’, also referred as Durgotsab , ‘Festival of Durga’, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates worship of Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi , Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to traditional Hindu Calendar and the fortnight corresponding the festival is called Debi Pokkho , ‘Fortnight of the Goddess’. Debi Pokkho is preceded by Mahalaya , the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Pokkho, ‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’, and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja, ‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’.
Durga Puja is widely celebrated in West Bengal, Assam , Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday. Not only it is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Apart from Eastern part of India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi , Gujrat , Punjab , maharashtra , Kashmir , Karnataka and Kerela. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and Bangladesh.
Durga Puja includes the worships of Lord Shiva, Goddess lakshmi , Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati Ma and Lord Kartikeya also. Modern tradition have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted idols of Durga, exchange of Bijoya Greetings and publication of Puja Annuals.
In Bengal, Durga Puja is also called Akalbodhan , 'untimely awakening of Durga' , Sharadiya Puja , ‘autumnal worship’, Sharodotsab, ‘festival of autumn’, Maha Puja, ‘grand puja’, Maayer Pujo, ‘worship of the Mother or only referred as Puja or Pujo. In East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. It is also called Durga Puja in Bihar, UP, Delhi and MP.
Durga Puja is called Navratri Puja in Gujrat, Punjab, Kerela and Maharashtra, Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley , Himachal Pradesh, Mysore Dussehra in Mysore, Karnataka and Bommai Kolu in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.