- Navratri or Durga Puja is just around the corner along with Mahalaya 2017
- The holy occasion of Mahalaya is the first day of Durga Puja
- This day also marks the last day of Shradh 2017 or Pitru Paksha.
What does Mahalaya Amavasya Signify?
Mahalaya is celebrated as the day of invocation, especially by Bengalis. The festival of Durga puja or Navratri 2017 begins with Mahalaya, marking goddess Durga’s advent in her battle against evil. Devotees pray for the deity’s invocation on earth and for her blessings to curb the evil raksha Mahishasur. It is celebrated on the dark night of Amavasya (new moon), where devotees fervently pray to goddess Durga to arrive on earth. This is when people start preparing for goddess Durga to arrive and ensure a grand welcome on the sixth day or sasthi where huge pandals are installed, massive goddess Durga idols are worshipped and decorated and feasts are prepared. Apart from the advent of goddess Durga, this day marks the end of the period of Pitru Paksha or Shradh during which Hindus across India remember their loved ones and ancestors.
Mahalaya 2017: How do we celebrate this day?
On this day, devotees remember their ancestors and pay homage to them and offer foods, clothes and sweets to the Brahmins. People wake up early in the morning, spend the day reciting prayers and hymns from the Devi Mahatmya scripture. Food and clothes are offered at puja mandaps. The foods offerings made for the ancestors are usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and typically offered on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves. The food generally includes kheer, lapsi, rice, dal, spring bean (guar) vegetable and a yellow gourd (pumpkin).
Durga Puja Calendar 2017
Maha Panchami 2017- 25th September 2017
Maha Sasthi 2017- 26th September 2017
Maha Saptami 2017- 27th September 2017
Maha Ashtami 2017- 28th September 2017
Maha Nabami 2017- 29th September 2017
Bijaya Dashami 2017- 30th September 2017
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