2013 Durga Puja in Chennai
Durga puja or ‘Durgotsav’ is viewed with great splendor in India. Though, the scale on which it’s celebrated in Bengal, predominantly in Kolkata, surpasses all other places. In Kolkata, Durga Puja is celebrated in individuals’ houses and also jointly in Mahallas and Paras as well. The puja which is arranged jointly is known as Sarbhojonin Durgotsav. The pandals are beautifully decorated and the streets are dazzled with colorful lights and the puja is also enjoyed with much dedication.
Goddess Durga is mother of all. It’s believed that she is formation of powers of different Gods and Goddesses fighting against evil spirit of great demon Mahishasura. She killed that demon and helped the Gods. It’s believed that during pujas, she goes from her in law's house to her paternal place. In Chennai, the five days puja is known as Sasthi when Durga Maa is welcomed. On Saptami, Astami and Navami mornings respectively, priest adores Goddess Durga. People generally remain on fasting during the worship. After puja people urge mother Durga to give her blessings with the intention that they can defeat the evil and live their lives peacefully and properly. Dasami puja is celebrated as Dasera.
Generally, the five-day celebrations of Durga puja in Chennai are organized by The Bengal Association every year with traditional enthusiasm. In Chennai, the Durga Puja celebration was started in 1929 by the Bengali Settler’s Association. The foremost festival begins on Maha Sasthi puja, which is Navaratri’s sixth day, and carries on to Maha Sapthami, Maha Ashtami and Maha Dasami respectively. On last day, idol of Mother Durga is engrossed in to river or sea.
Every year, together with conventional pujas all the way through the day by priest from Kolkata, many different cultural programs are also organized like singing programs, plays, dance dramas, fancy dress competitions etc in Chennai. Free lunch is given in the afternoons and also conventional Bengali food is offered at venue with nominal price. The aarti is also done every evening.