India travel guide



Calcutta Travel Guide

Calcutta Festivals

Calcutta has many cultural expressions and the festivals in Calcutta are very popular, in twelve months more than thirteen festivals, civil or religious; diverse communities have different festivities, even in the Hindu area, the festivals are any dissimilar, the festivals are good for to make friendship and find other old friends. But the most popular festival is Puja, people offering flowers to the deity, animal sacrifices or fire; each festival is organized by a family, a community or a locality. The Puja festivities in some case lasts several days, the murthi that is an image made of clay and represent to the deity is decorated and mounted on a structured, and installed in a Puja Pandal; this structure is made of mambo and pleated cloth, chandeliers and neon lights. During the festivities, musical shows, exhibitions, fireworks and dance are performed around the Pandal, then the murthi is carried in procession to the river Hooghly where it is immersed. The important festivals in Calcutta are showed below:

Durga Puja: Is the most important festival Hindu, it is celebrate during September – October for ten days, Durga is the goddess of the power, the image of the deity shows her victory on Mahisasur, the most powerful demon, many pandals are built around the city, a magical atmosphere is feeling throughout the Puja time, and in the ten day, the image is carried to the Hoogly river and immersed.

Kali Puja: Is other important occasion in Calcutta, celebrate during October – November two weeks after the Laxmi Puja, Kali is a goddess of destruction, her image shows the Kali’s foot on Lord Shiva’s chest, Kali will protect of the evils, she represent the strength or shakti, the Kali Puja succeed at midnight on new moon day’s. This festivity coincides with Diwali, festivals of light, houses are decorated with candles and lights, people make exploded off firecrackers all night.

Laxmi Puja: This festivity is celebrated in October, five days after of Mahadashami, in Calcutta it is an important occasion, Laxmi is the goddess of wealth, peace and prosperity, the Pujas are decorated and performed same that to Durga Puja. Laxmy Puja is worshipped dayli in Hindus homes for the family’s prosperity.

Holi: Also called Dol Purnima, it is celebrated in March for arrival of spring season, people run around the city, wetting and smearing each other with different colors of water, powder or spray; and some groups of people wait in the corners and wet to the people that pass by there, this is fun and they share joyous moment together, they drink bhang, kind of spirit of milk with herbs, in this festivity all people participate, without importing the caste, creed and religion.

Saraswati Puja: The festivity is celebrate during January and early February, Saraswati is the goddess of learning, science and the creative arts, students, artists and professors celebrate with great pomp and enthusiasm, the young girls of the family wear a yellow dress during this day, children and students pray for their academic success.

Nabobarsho: It is celebrated in mid of April, marks the Bengalis New Year and the beginning of summer season, Nabobarsho has a great significance for all, businessman takes account books and statues of Ganesh and Lakshmi, and they visit the Kali temple for blessings. Markets, shops and houses are beautiful decorated and Charack Puja is carried for the streets.

Rathyatra: The Rathyatra festival is celebrate in late June or early July, the festivity mark the beginning of Monsoon season and the harvest season, dedicate to Jagannath, the incarnation of Vishnu, who takes vacation with his brother Balaram and sister Subhadra. Mixtures of flowers and colors adorned the big chariots, and people pull these gigantic chariots; the fervor in the streets is conduced by the ISKON in a long procession.

Bhai Phota: This celebration has place two days after the Kali Puja Festivity, in October, in this day, brothers and sisters forget their family troubles and celebrate the family ties, sisters apply a dab of sandalwood to their brothers' foreheads, pray for their safety and welfare, and wrap with sweets, brothers in turn give to them presents and gifts.

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