October 15, 2018 - October 19, 2018
Durga Puja, also referred to as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha. Devi Paksha is preceded by Mahalaya, the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Paksha and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’).
Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil.
Durga Puja is widely celebrated in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal, where it is a five-day annual holiday. In West Bengal and Tripura, which has a majority of Bengali Hindus, it is the biggest festival of the year. Apart from eastern India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. It is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and in Bangladesh. Nowadays, many diaspora Bengali cultural organisations arrange for Durgotsab in countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Kuwait, among others.