Durga Puja started today with Maha Shasthi. Maa Durga has arrived from Kailash Parvat with her four children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesha. On Shasthi, Goddess Durga is welcomed amid the sound of dhak or traditional drums decorated with feathers with and shankha dhwani or the sound of the conch. Today morning, the first ritual of Bodhon or the invocation ceremony of Maa Durga has happened. Even though the festivities are low-key this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people on social media are greeting each other. Durga Puja wishes are being exchanged on WhatsApp, SMS or and Facebook. In West Bengal, Assam and other places where Durga Puja is celebrated in a big way, both young and old, wear new clothes today. Let's take a look at how we can avoid going out this year and enjoying the puja at home.
How to do Durga Puja at home: Items needed
- A picture or an idol of Maa Durga
- A clay pot with soil, barley seeds and water
- A new red cloth, coconut, betel nuts
- A mango stalk with five leaves
- Flowers, coins, incense sticks, camphor and diyas or candles
- Raw rice, ghee, puja thali, kumkum
- Fruits and sweets like sandesh or coconut ladoos for prashad
How to do Durga Puja at home: Puja vidhi
- Place the picture or deity of Maa Durga on a raised stool or chowki
- Decorate Goddess Durga with flowers and place the other puja items around the altar prepared
- Place the clay pot in front of the goddess with soil, barley seeds, betel nuts, coin and put the mango leaves on it
- Place the coconut on the mango leaves and cover with the red cloth
- Arrange the fruits and sweets on a metal plate and keep a glass of water
- Light the diyas, incense sticks
- You can draw alpana (rangoli) patterns in front of Goddess Durga and decorate as you wish
- Chant Durga mantras and pray with sincerity
- Complete the puja with aarti using camphor
Amid the pandemic people are celebrating at home, performing the rituals and chanting Durga mantras for puja. Durga Puja is an auspicious occasion to be enjoyed with family and friends. many have chosen to shop online and send surprise gifts to loved ones.
In Kolkata, Durga Puja organizers - particularly the large ones - have planned to install giant screens near the puja pandals for people to see the deity of Goddess Durga. According to the High Court's modified order on Wednesday, visitors cannot crowd near the deity of Durga at the marquee. Also more than 60 people from the organizing committee cannot be at the puja pandals. These measures have been taken to check the Covid situation going out of control.