New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The two week period of Pitru Paksh Shradh ends today i.e. on September 17 with Mahalaya Amavasya. Normally, Durga Puja begins seven days after Mahalaya. This year, however, the much-awaited festival will begin a month after Mahalaya.

As per the popular belief, the event marks the beginning of Durga’s journey to her natal home, with her children. The main celebration, will begin on the sixth day or Shashti i.e on October 22 and end on VijayaDashmi (10th day) i.e. on October 26. During Durga Puja it is believed, the Goddess descends on the earth from her heavenly abode or Kailash on either a palanquin, boat, elephant or horse.

Why Durga Puja festival will begin a month after Mahalaya

The unusual occurrence is attributed to a phenomenon called mala mash, a lunar month which has two new moons (amavasya). This period is considered unholy and no auspicious rites and rituals can be performed in a mala mash. So, this is why Durga Puja will be deferred till the amavasya (lunar month) is over. However, this is not the first time 

The last time Durga Puja was delayed was in 2001 when the festival commenced 30 days after Mahalaya. The dates had coincided with what they are this year – Mahalaya on 17 September and Mahasashthi on 22 October. Before that, the events happened in 1982.

 How is Mahalaya observed?

Bengalis look upto this day with great gusto as it heralds the beginning of a great festival. Devotees traditionally wake up in the morning to listen to Mahisasuramardni, an audio of Chandipath recital from the holy verses of Sri Sri Chandi along with religious songs. Then they make food and water offerings to deceased ancestors. Durga Puja also coincides with Navaratri and Dussehra celebrations observed by other traditions of Hinduism.



Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha