Durga Puja in Balurghat
About Durga Puja in Balurghat:
How is Durga Puja Celebrated in Balurghat?
Dhak. You will also see an integral part of this festival the Dhaki. The beat of the Dhak is essential to Durga Puja conjuring different beats during different aspects of Puja (Arati, Sandhi Puja, Bisharjan). In these days, people visit the Puja pandals in large numbers and make offerings to Devi in the form of Pushpanjali, Aarti and Bhog.
Maha Ashtami is the most prominent of five days. The day starts with the worship of the Kola Bou. Many other vital rituals like “Chandi Path”, “Aarati” and “Kumari Puja” are performed in this day. Maa Durga killed Mahishusara, the demon on this day. The main attraction of this day is Sandhi Puja. The Sandhi Puja is considered the most powerful rituals of Durga Puja and many devotees keep fast for the whole day and seat for the Sandhi Puja with a holy heart. Usually, these rituals are performed by a priest on behalf of the community.
During the festival in Balurghat, you can see people pandal-hopping in their new dresses. People in Balurghat start decorating their homes with a joyous heart as they want to welcome Maa Durga to her maternal home. The whole Balurghat looks like a newly wedded bride with all her jewelries. They buy new dresses for all these five days according to their affordability. It is a time for socializing with friends, families and relatives. People dressed in their new clothes, visit pandals, eat mouth watering food and enjoy the drumbeats.
In Balurghat, pandals are the main attractions for the visitor. Beautifully decorated pandals are made of different materials. The preliminary structure of the pandal is usually made of bamboo tied with rope. Sometimes the organizing committee takes the themes of different patterns such as: bamboo, jute, cloth, glass etc makes it a work of art.
The Anjali or floral offerings start in the morning and the aarti or the evening
Puja starts after dusk. People in Balurghat exchange gifts and best wishes for each other on the occasion. Nowadays, people send inspirational and devotional messages to theirnear and dear ones. In Balurghat, to add color to the festival, the organizing committee arranges various competition and fun-filled activities with exciting prizes such as: Drawing competition, Antakshari, Quiz and many more.
On Bijaya Dashami, after the priest completes all the rituals a special sweet Dish is prepared i.e., Dadikadma. Everyone enjoys the sweet dish and then starts Baron Parbon. In the Baron Parbon all the married ladies comes to the pandal with a plate well decorated with sweets, paan leaves, Sindur etc. This ritual is only performed by married ladies. After they complete the ritual they start playing with the Sindur which is “Sindur Khela”. Now it’s the hard time when the idol of Maa Durga is taken for the immersion. Everyone enjoys and dances the way to the immersion of Maa Durga but have a heavy heart that Maa is leaving us. But they all smile and greet each other saying “Asche Bochor Abar Hobe, Bochor Bochor Pujo Hobe”.
Hence the celebration of Durga Puja in Balurghat comes to an end with all hope of Maa Durga will come again the next year with lots of happiness and prosperity.