Karva Chauth, Durga Puja Festival
Karva Chauth is the festival observed by the married women of our country. It is celebrated for ensuring wedded bliss and wishing long life for their husbands and children. This Hindu festival has a cultural and social significance. It is mostly celebrated in the northern part of India with great enthusiasm. The festival of Karva Chauth has an extraordinary observance rate among married Hindu women in the northern part of India in places like Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. On this day married women keep a fast for the well-being and long life of their husbands.
The celebration of Karva Chauth varies from region to region depending on the culture and traditions of that state.Karva Chauth is observed on the fourth day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin, which is also called Kartik according to some calendars.They are later exchanged with other married women. The fasting women first observe the moon through a sieve and then break their fast.
Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsab is an auspicious Occasions which is prominently celebrated in the Indian state of West Bengal or Bengal.
In the nine days long celebrations of Durga Puja festival, Goddess Durga, one of the most revered Goddess for the Hindus, is worshiped in different forms like as goddess of valor, wisdom and wealth. Although the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated mainly in the state of West Bengal but the festive spirit and joy is omnipresent throughout India and the other states of India like Manipur, Orissa, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and Jharkhand also enjoy the jubilance of Durga Puja with great enthusiasm and devotion.
Apart from being a festival, Durga Pooja has become a social-cultural event that celebrates the cheerfulness of life, the vibrant culture, the set rituals and traditions. During the celebrations of Durga Puja, huge puja pandals are erected in which idols of Goddess Durga along with Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesha are placed and worshiped. Lots of dancing, singing devotional songs in praise of Goddess Durga, preparation of special festive dishes are also an integral part of Durga Puja celebrations
Durga Puja festival is known and celebrated with different names in in various parts of India like: in Bengal, Durga Pooja is also known as Akalbodhan untimely awakening of Durga, Durgotsab, Maayer Pujo. Durga Puja festival is also called Navratri Puja in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi. It is celebrated as Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Durga Pooja is celebrated twice a year, once in the month of Chaitra April-May and then in Ashwin September-October. On both Occasionss nine different forms of Goddess Durga is worshipped threfore called Durga Navratri nine nights. According to the Hindu Calendar Durga Pooja festival starts on the first day and ends on tenth day of bright half Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month.
The festivities start with the first day called Mahalaya. It is also the day of the beginning of the countdown to the Durga Puja. The face of the goddess remains covered until the bodhon ritual is performed on Sasthi – the sixth day of the moon. Fast is observed on this day by women for the well being of their families.
The Goddess is worshipped as a kumari or young girl, and reveals herself in her true form Mahasaptami . On Mahastami and Mahanavami the celebrations reach a fever pitch. New shining clothes, smiling faces, dancing devotees, chantings of Mantras, spectacular display of lights and the rhythmic beat of dhak adds excitement to the festive Occasions. On Vijay Dashami the idol of Durga is immersed in water after performing customary rituals. The ten-armed goddess dazzles the devotees with her splendour and appearance of fiery valour during her short stay every year.
Durga Puja is organized by communities comprising of Indians in the US, Europe and Australia. Although pandals are not constructed, the idols are flown in from Kumartuli in Bengal. The desire by the diasporas peoples to keep in touch with their cultural ties has led to a boom in religious tourism, as well as learning from priests or purohits versed in the rites. Also recently, the immersion of the Durga idol has been allowed in the Thames River for the Durga Puja festival which is held in London.