Durga Puja is not only the main festival of the Bengalees but its significance can be witnessed in every part of the country. Celebrated during the ‘Sharat kaal,’ this is regarded as the foremost festival in Bengal and is also gaining popularity in different parts of the country. According to mythology, Asuras attacked heaven and disturbed the life of Indra and his allies. The Asuras were indomitable and started to gain victory on anything. Mahisashura, who became victorious by the boon of Mahadeva began to conquer Swarg, the domicile of Indra and other Gods. Now, Indra and other Gods being scared by the flare of Mahisashura fled Swarg and came to Mahadeva for help. Gods created Goddess Durga, combining all forces and she was given the herculean task of defeating Mahisashura. After a long battle of 7 days, ultimately she was successful in defeating Mahishasura and thereby restoring peace and justice in Swarg which was given back to Indra and his team of Gods.
Goddess Durga is symbolized as a divine female power. She denotes feminism and women empowerment. Bengalees consider Durga Puja as the homecoming of Devi Durga and her four children- Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, and Kartik. Devi Durga is treated as the daughter of the house. Mahadeva being her husband, Kailash is her domicile while the earth is considered her parents home. There are interesting stories explaining how Devi Durga pleads her husband Mahadeva for allowing her spending four days on Earth. Puja is celebrated for four days are – Sasthi, Saptami, Ashtami, and ends in Dashami.
Bengal along with other parts of the country has its own beautiful custom & style of welcoming Devi Durga with dhup, dhuna, sankha, and dhak. Ladies are dressed in traditional red bordered white saree with jewelry. Sindoor Khela is another unique tradition of Bengal where all married ladies worship the idol of Devi and the wish each other good luck by smashing sindoor on each other’s face. This is one way of celebrating sisterhood, peace, and happiness with family, friends, relatives, and neighbors.