Durga Puja in Navi Mumbai is one of those festivals that make my autumn in India so spectacular. Navi Mumbai is still under impression of [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/forums/topic/ganpati-ganesh-chaturthi-hindu-festival-of-wisdom-prosperity-good-fortune]Ganesh Chaturthi[/url] celebrations, but the bamboo constructions for Durga temples are already being installed. Remembering the fascinating experience of visiting a [url=http://www.indiapalette.com/ganesh-chaturthi-ganpati-festival-is-coming-soon]Ganesh workshop[/url], where the artisans were manufacturing the elephant-god’s idols, I decided to pay a visit to a Durga workshop as well. And this is what I saw there:
Again the same thought about mass produced art came to my mind, though with Durga the artisans seemed to be more relaxed: there were not so many statues as before the Ganpati celebration. Perhaps the reason is that Durga Puja is essentially celebrated in West Bengal, and here in Navi Mumbai it’s on a smaller scale.
So, Durga Puja is dedicated to the Mother Goddess and the victory of Durga (a goddess-warrior) over the demon Mahishasura. As far as I could see, it’s celebrated in a similar fashion to Ganesh Chaturthi: people install beautifully decorated statues of the goddess in homes and temples around the city. On the last day of the festival dancing processions carry the Durga idol along the streets and immerse it in the water (usually a lake, specially prepared for this purpose).
People pray to the goddess every day during the festival. Childless women offer their prayers to her, asking to experience the joy of motherhood. They put some red powder on their faces – this powder symbolizes fertility, child bearing and marriage.
But the festival is not limited to that: one has a chance to attend dance and drama performances, fairs and food stalls. In the evening the whole families go out wearing their best outfits, they socialize, eat and have a great fun. Here are some photos I took a few years ago, when our German friend came to visit us. It was a great fun!