The auspicious festival of Durga Puja is vividly approaching and the state of West Bengal is being enlightened with it. Yes, it is the time when Goddess Durga has successfully defeated Mahishasur and is returning to her maternal home (Bengal) along with her sons Ganesh and Kartikeya and also daughters Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswati. The Bongs all over the world celebrate these beautiful days as the happiest part of the calendar and such is the charm if you are in West Bengal. Here are 12 Facts about Durga Puja in West Bengal You Cannot Miss At All!
1. The soil used for making the idol is taken from Prostitute's Porch
The soil which is used to prepare the idol of Durga Goddess is taken from Sonagachi which is the biggest red light area in Asia. The women operating in this area are asked to pick a handful of soil from their land in order to complete the statue.
2. The Ulu Dhwani
At the time of Aarti, one of the biggest rituals is followed by making a resonating sound also known as the Ulu Dhwani. The women who are a part of the puja make the Ulu Dhwani with the help of their tongue. The sound echoes as all the crowd produce the Ulu Dhwani together creating a beautiful atmosphere. As believed by Bengali people Ullu Dhwani is supposed to have the power to ward off all the evil away. Ullu Dhwani is also made in various auspicious occasions like the marriage ceremony.
3. The sound of Dhaks and the Dhakis
Dhak is a drum-based musical instrument which is mostly played by the Dhakis. Without the Dhak being struck in the Puja Mandaps, the bongs feel that the puja is not complete. The rhythmic music produced by the Dhak will make you mad to dance. The dance with Dhak is most popular at the time of Visarjan.
4. The Dhunuchi Naach
The Dhunuchi Naach is probably the most enjoyable part of the pujas. Dhunuchi is basically an earthen pot which is filled with coconut shell and burning coal. With steamed pots in their hands, dancers dance to welcome Goddess Durga to her home. The people dance to the tunes of the dhaks in traditional style holding the Dhunuchi.
5. Sindoor Khela
The Sindoor Khela is celebrated on the last day of Durga Puja also known as Vijayadashami. Ma Durga returns back to Lord Shiva and before her departure, all the married women in Mandaps and homes perform the Sindoor Khela. It is played by married women by applying Sindoor (vermilion) to each other's face and celebrating a happy married life.
The Mahabhog is another ritual performed during Durga Puja. The Bhog is served to the goddess which consists of Aloo Bhaja, Narkel Nora, Luchi, Potol Bhaja, Dhoka Dalna along with sweets of four to five varieties. This Bhog is then been distributed among the devotees. The best part of this is that the devotee's don't mind to stand & wait in long lines for the delicious food. Kolkata's popular Sovabazar Rajbari pujo serves mutton dish known as Mete Chocchori to the devotees during the festival.
Well, if you are in Bengal and have not tasted the Mishtis yet, this is your chance to do so. Various sweets are presented to choose from and I bet it will make you feel greedy for having more. Rosogolla, Mishti Doi, Sandesh, Narkol Er Nadu is enough mouth watering. Yummy isn't it?
8. Pandal Hopping
The craze of Pandal Hopping in Kolkata is never ending at all. On this span of five days, more than 5 Crore people hop around the Puja Pandals to see idols of Durga Maa. Pandals have now brought up many changes which are a treat to watch. The unique pandals having beautiful statue of Goddess Durga is what everyone is sure to visit. Mitra Bari Pujo in Darjipara, Daw Bari Pujo in Jorasako, Mallick Bari Puja, Sovabazarer Rajbari Pujo is the some of the best pandals in Kolkata.
9. Women Tend to Look Their Best
During Durga Puja, women select different dresses for different days of the festival. The old and ordinary clothes are packed and the new one is given to the tailor, many days before the festival to get perfect neckline and cut as per their desire.
10. Durga Idols
The most interesting part is the Durga Idols which every puja pandals try to define in their own way. The idols just tend to get larger than ever! You will certainly love this festival.
11. Late Nights
For most of the youngsters, the Late Night outing is one of the best special times. There is no deadline for reaching home. The Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police come up with a very strong preparation to help everyone on the roads. How much late can you reach back to your home? 2 am, 3 am, 4 am? Just check out here once! There are crores of people still outside at 4 am on all the five days of the puja.
12. Taking a Break
No office, No Studies, and even no work! Yes, the puja means only one thing to the bongs and it is enjoying the most. Jhari Mara (A Bengali term of Flirting), Late night outing, Having Junk food every day and dancing to the tunes of Dhaks are just the pleasures they enjoy.