India entered its grand festive season starting with Navratri and Durga Puja. Now, you might think that why are we even mentioning them separately because they are supposed to be the same thing, right? Well, not exactly. While both the festivals appear to be the same, there’s a slight difference between the two when it comes to religious rituals and celebration style. While the northern and western part of India celebrates Navratri, Durga Puja is the biggest festival in Bengal and other eastern Indian states. Both are meant for worshipping forms of Goddess Durga the celebration style is distinct.
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So, what actually differentiates the two festivals? We will tell you here:
1. Navratri celebration across India revolve around worshipping the nine forms of Goddess Durga on the nine days of Navratri (which translates to nine nights). The celebration ends with the celebration of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana on Dussehra.
Durga Puja, on the other, hand celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur.
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2. Navratri begins with worshipping Shailputri – the first avatar of Goddess Durga whereas Durga Puja begins with Mahalaya, a day when the battle between Durga and Mahishasura began.
3. While Navratri celebration ends with the burning of Raavan effigies on Dussehra; Durga Puja ends with Sindoor Khela, where married women play with sindoor (vermillion) with each other before immersion of idols.
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4. During the Navratri celebration, devotees of Goddess Durga do not consume any form of meat, eggs, onion or even garlic for the nine days. However, for Bengalis, the Durga Puja celebration is also about good food that includes non-vegetarian delicacies.
Celebration in Eastern India and by Bengalis at large, Durga Puja is their biggest festival. It’s meant for time with family enjoying authentic Bengali dishes.
Whatever may be the differences between the festivals, the days of Navratri and Durga Puja are meant to bring people closer in celebration.