This article is reviewed by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Emotions. Homecoming. Togetherness. For Bengalis, Durga Puja is synonymous with all these and more. It is the most awaited festivity of the year that goes far and beyond being just a religious carnival. Snowy cotton candy clouds floating in the clear azure sky of autumn, kaash phool swaying in the breeze on acres and acres of field, the pujo-pujo feel in the air.

It is that time of the year when you can go gaga over puja fashion, have that extra plate of chat, biriyani, or gulp down a couple more phuchka while pandal hopping. No matter which corner of the world you are in, it is time to come back home to your family and catch up with your childhood friends over ‘pujor adda‘. And if you are lucky, maybe you’ll meet that special one at ‘pujor mondop’ as well?!

Durga Puja or Durgotsav brings together people from all castes, creeds, religions, and walks of life in a unanimous celebration of togetherness under Goddess Durga’s blessings, making it one of India’s grandest festivals.

Read on as Wego unveils all the details about Durga Puja 2024, dates, celebrations, significance, and the latest guidelines for celebrating puja with precautions.

Why is Durga Puja celebrated?

Devi Durga idol

© Flickr

Like most other Indian festivals, the celebration of Durga Puja, too, dates its origin to the days of mythology.

When the shape-shifting demon king Mahisarur’s torment of the divine beings in Heaven escalated, Goddess Durga (reincarnation of Devi Parvati) emerged to slay the asura and protect Heaven and the mortal world from his atrocities. The battle ended with the victory of Goddess Durga, the ‘destroyer of evil’, thus starting off a tradition of worshiping her on Durga Puja or Durgotsav.

How is Durga Puja celebrated?

Durga_Puja_Celebrations - puja pandal in kolkata

© Wikimedia Commons

Celebrations for the Durga Puja begin months ahead with the construction of artistic idols and ornate pandals (the main shelter erected for the idols). Puja shopping for new clothes and shoes is a must, with families gifting each other puja gifts. A few days before the main celebration begins, fairs, street food joints, and countless pop-up stores are up in the festive fervor, with streets and colonies lit up with colorful lights.

Prayers are offered to Goddess Durga every day, with each day signifying a new something. Side by side, devotees also worship Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Karthik, who are children of Devi Durga.

Apart from attending pujas within the complexes, people go pandal hopping to witness the artistic creations as each pandal and idol has unique and remarkable themes for the occasion. Kolkata, for one, never fails to astonish the onlookers with beautifully decorated pandals and idols, be it at Shobhabazar Raj Bari, Deshapriya Park, or Maddox Square Park.

Durga Puja 2024 dates

Durga Puja is a 10-day festival altogether. However, most of the significant celebrations take place in the last 5 days, starting from Maha Shashti.

Mahalaya: 2 October

chokkhudan - artist painting the eyes of goddess Durga furing Mahalaya

© Unsplash

Mahalaya precedes the main days of celebration of Durga Puja and marks the Agomoni or welcoming of Goddess Durga and her children (Lakshmi, Ganesh, Saraswati, and Kartik) from Kailash mountain to her natal home. As this day marks the start of her descent journey to her mortal devotees, artisans start painting the eyes of the goddess’ idol, an event known as chokkhudan.

Maha Shashti: 9 October

The sixth day or Shashti, is when the deity is unveiled in front of the public. Prayers and rituals are observed, such as the playing of dhaks (a kind of drum) by the dhakis, with one of the prime events of the day being Mahisasur Mardini, a theatrical enactment with songs and plays of Goddess Durga vanquishing the evil.

Maha Saptami: 10 October

The seventh day or Maha Saptami, constitutes the ceremonial bath of the banana tree (also called Kola Bou for the occasion), draped in a red-bordered sari, and placed beside the idol of Ganesha.

Maha Ashtami: 11 October

On the eighth day or Maha Ashtami, it is believed that Goddess Durga defeated Mahisasur. All devotees start off the day with Pushpanjali (flower offerings) in the morning, and then in the afternoon, feasts are organized. Khichdi (a dish of rice and lentils cooked together), curries, and other delicacies are served to all.

Maha Navami: 12 October

The culmination of Sandhi Puja announces the start of Navami. Large throngs of people gather to witness the Maha Aarti. Consequently, lots of puja committees also organize Dhunuchi (incense burner) dance competitions in the evening of Navami.

durga puja visarjan

© Flickr

Vijaya Dashami: 13 October

Dashami is the day of bidding goodbye to the Goddess and awaiting her arrival once again the next year. Before the idol immersion or visarjan, women smear each other with red colors (the event is known as sindur khela), and the idols are carried out on a procession with music playing, dhaks beating, and people dancing to the beats.

The idols are then immersed in the holy Ganges as fireworks and crackers are burst. People exchange greetings and wish each other prosperity on this day. They carry sweets for their friends and family while children of the house seek the blessings of the elder.

The celebrations are slightly varied in different parts of the country. Many places in the northern and western parts of India observe it as Navratri over a span of nine days (Gujarat is well-famed for Navratri and Garba dances during this time), followed by Dussehra on the tenth day. Here too, the day marks the victory of the good over evil as people put effigies of Ravana ablaze.

Durga Puja pandals

Pandals are an integral part of the Durga Puja celebrations in West Bengal. The brightly colored idols, swarmed by devotees and intoxicated by the spirit of the holidays, are a landmark feature of the festivities.

Although details about the Durga Puja pandals for 2024 are yet to be revealed, to get an idea, you can visit the article below to check out some 2023 iconic Durga pandals in Kolkata

Durga Puja Pandals 2023: 6 Iconic Pandals in Kolkata that Pandal Hoppers Must Visit


How will Durga Puja 2024 be celebrated?


© PixaHive

This year’s Durga Puja is going to be one of the biggest national holidays, which will be observed this year from 9 October to 13 October. The ceremony of “pran pratistha,” which is performed by painting the eyes on the idol of the goddess Durga, begins on Mahalaya on 2 October.

The other auspicious days, Sasthi, Saptami, and Ashtami, each have their unique importance and traditions. The culmination of the festivities is the immersion of the idols in waterways on Vijaya Dashami day. Devotees from all over the country are now thrilled to host one of the country’s greatest festivals Durga Puja once again with great favour and enthusiasm.

Happy puja, everyone! Maa Aaschen! Bolo Durga maye ki joy!


[Total: 215 Average: 4.7]