Five Ways To Celebrate Durga Puja Like A Bong

The biggest festival of the Bengalis, Durga Puja, is here and nowadays, it is not only celebrated by that one community, but by the rest of Indians too! Since this 5-day festival overlaps the same time as Navratri, so non-Bengalis just seize the chance to indulge in double the celebrations at the same time! If you are not someone who have Bengali friends or have experienced the excitement of celebrating the much-awaited Durga Puja, then give it a shot this time! Here’s how you can join in the excitement & fun of this festival, in true-blue Bengali style!

Durga Puja pandal hopping

Go pandal-hopping

There’s nothing more fun than going around town visiting the different puja celebrations with friends and family. Bengalis never miss out on intensive pandal-hopping trips throughout these 5 days and you shouldn’t too! So what if you are not in Bengal? Every big Indian city (and ones abroad too) has more than one Durga Puja celebrations happening all around, so just check out the ones taking place around you, chalk out a good route map and off you go, hopping from one Durga puja pandal to the next!

Durga-Puja-feast

Gorge on good food

These 5 days are just for eating all that you like – specially Kolkata street food. Bengalis love to binge-eat all kinds of street food during Durga Puja, right from phuchka to chaat, and egg rolls to street-side noodles, that they lovingly call chowmein. For lunch or dinner, it’s either a spread of traditional Bengali cuisine or a plateful of yummy biriyani with a side of kebabs. So, if you want to get the real flavour of Durga puja, hog on some mind-blowing street food this season at the stalls around all the big puja pandals.

Durga Puja bengali celebrations

Drape up in style

It’s the time to get your hands on some lovely new sarees! All Bengali women dress up in new drapes during Durga Puja, complete with stunning jewellery & chic accessories. You can have some fun by trying out different drapes with your sarees or pairing them with stylish alternatives to regular saree-blouses, like shirts or crop tops. So, get out your finest sarees; if you haven’t bought or been gifted new ones, that is; drape a new one on each day, put some flowers in your hair & some kohl on your eyes, flaunt a big bindi on your forehead and celebrate Durga Puja, all decked up!

Durga puja celebrations family

In good company

Durga Puja is a festival to be celebrated with your nearest & dearest ones. These 5 days are to be spent pandal-hopping with friends, eating out with cousins and spending quality time with your extended family. Offer Anjali to the Mother Goddess on Mahashtami morning with that special someone, which is a typically Bengali must-do during this time. This is the time to catch up with old friends or meet those who have come to town for the festival – go out, have fun, eat, drink & be merry!

sindoor-khela-durga-puja

Shindoor-khela on Dashami

The last day of the festival, Dashami, holds a special place in every Bengali women’s heart. The Mother Goddess is bid farewell with a ritual known as Shindoor Khela – women sport white & red sarees and carry out farewell rituals for Ma Durga her family of four. Women also smear vermilion on each other and everyone is treated to sweets post the idol immersion. Be a part of this unique ritual by joining in the fun, tag along with the procession that takes the idols for immersion & get your share of sweets too!

Anyone all over the world can be a part of these festivities today, thanks to globalization of culture and presence of Bengali communities worldwide that arrange for the festivals. So, get going, ask for your Bengali friends’ help and embrace the Durga Puja rituals this year with enthusiastic fervour & festive joy!

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