If you are looking for information on the famous Festivals of West Bengal, you have come to the right place. Here you will find information on Chatt Pooja, Durga Pooja, and Saraswati Puja. Read on to know the meanings of these festivals. Then, plan your trip to West Bengal. There are plenty of things to do in West Bengal. If you are looking for a unique and memorable experience, consider visiting this city during the festivals.
1. Durga Pooja
During the annual Durga Pooja, the streets of Kolkata transform into an absolute riot of color and life. Thousands of processions and millions of people throng the streets, as the Goddess bids her family and friends farewell and sets off to the Himalayas. The idols are immersed in the river head first, and countless celebrations take place throughout the city and the countryside. Families and individuals come together to exchange sweets and share the joy of celebrating this sacred occasion.
During the festival, most of the city is closed down and intricate pandals are installed all over the city. A pandal is a temporary structure made from bamboo and cloth, which is adorned with lights and other decorative items. People flock to pandals and indulge in a tradition known as “pandal hopping.”
2. Saraswati Pooja
Rakhi Purnima, or Bhai Phota, is one of the most important festivals of West Bengal. It celebrates the bond between a brother and sister, and is similar to the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan. Sisters tie a colored bandage to their brother’s wrists and wish him long life and prosperity. This festival is also celebrated with gifts and ceremonies, including the application of Phota on his forehead.
In addition to being a significant Hindu festival in West Bengal, Saraswati Pooja is one of the most important festivals of the region. The main festival of Saraswati Pooja, which takes place in January, also starts on the New Year. The Bengalis believe that New Year is auspicious for learning and consider it to be the right time to start academic studies. For this reason, girls in Bengal wear bright, colorful saris and visit beautifully decorated Goddess Saraswati puja pandals.
As a Goddess of art, Saraswati is adored in many cultures, and her worship is reflected in the colourful rangolis that are made for her puja. Using various colours and coloring mediums, these patterns are meant to express artistic talent. The festival also has romantic aspects, as many young couples celebrate Valentines Day on the day of Saraswati Puja. As students worship the goddess, their love life is enriched by the festivities.
3. Bhai Phota
The celebration of the Bhai Dooj (Brother’s Day) is celebrated across India. In West Bengal, the holiday is celebrated as Bhai Phota, where the sister places a phota (white sandalwood paste) on her brother’s forehead. The festival is also known as the Bhau-beej or Bhai Tika festival in Manipur and Bhau-beej in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other parts of India.
The name of the Bhai Phota Festival is derived from two words, “bhai” meaning brother and “phota” meaning mark. The festival is held at the house of the sister who invited the brother. The ceremony is performed in a central part of the house, where the brother is made to sit on a small cotton mattress known as an asana. In the Bengali tradition, the sister also applies tilak and chants a special mantra while his brother is sitting on the Asana.
The Bhai Phota festival, also known as “Dvitya” or “Bhai Fota”, is celebrated during the week following Diwali. This festival celebrates the love between brothers and sisters and strengthens the bond between them. It is celebrated with a great deal of gusto and euphoria in West Bengal. Sisters and brothers eagerly await the arrival of the day with great joy.
4. Chatt Pooja
The state of West Bengal is known for its vibrant festivals. This region celebrates thirteen festivals in a year, all of which are unique and add a touch of pizazz to the community. Here, we will look at some of the most famous festivals of the state. The rituals of Chatt Pooja include worshipping the God of Ganges and taking a holy bath in the river.
Durga Puja is a major Hindu festival celebrated in the state during the month of October. It marks the victory of Good over Evil and is performed in a grand way. The Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Durga, fought the demon Mahishasura over ten days and won the victory. The festival culminates with a grand celebration on the last day, which is called Vijay Dashmi.
The festival lasts for four days, with rituals ranging from fasting to offering offerings to the Sun. The name is derived from the two Hindi words ‘chah’ and ‘hath’, meaning six stages. The name Chhath comes from the word ‘chah’, which means six, and ‘hath’, meaning austerity. The festival is a popular celebration in the state of Bihar, as well as in different parts of West Bengal and in neighboring states of Uttar Pradesh and the Madhesh region of Nepal.
5. Dol Purnima
Dol Purnima, also known as Holi in Bengal, is celebrated with much pomp and show. The day begins with students and residents wearing bright, saffron-coloured clothes and garlands of fragrant flowers. Devotees perform a variety of dances and sing devotional songs around the idols, while men and women spray colored water and powder at each other.
The Dol festival has a unique meaning in Bengal, as it celebrates the love between Lord Krishna and Radha. Traditionally, the Dol festival began on the day after the full moon night of Phalgun, which is the Bengali calendar. In its early days, the festival was celebrated by scattering flowers, but as time went on, abir was used instead.
The Dol Jatra is one of the most popular events in the state, and the Bengali people celebrate it with great gusto. This is a celebration of the birthday of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 16th-century Vaishnava Saint and founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. On this day, Bengalis also apply Abir to pictures of family members who have passed away.
6. Poush Sankranti
The Makar Sankranti festival falls on January 15 this year. It is considered one of the holiest Hindu festivals and is celebrated across India. In West Bengal, it is celebrated as Poush Sankranti (also known as Poush Parbon). In West Bengal, this festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. In addition to celebrations for the harvest and the Lord Sun, people offer special food to household deities to make this festival a successful one.
The Hindu festival of Poush Sankranti, also called Basanta Utsab, has a special place in the hearts of Bengalis. Children start their academic education on this day, and the idols of the Goddess are beautifully decorated and girls wear colourful clothes for darshan. Poush Sankranti Festival is followed by Lakshmi Puja, which is the second largest Hindu festival in Bengal. Thousands of people from all over the world visit Bengal during Lakshmi Puja.
7. Jamai Shoushti
One of the most important aspects of the Jamai Shoushti festival is its food. The Bengali mother-in-law will prepare a special feast for her son-in-law. The meal is centered on a special thali. The son-in-law will be expected to follow all the wishes of his mother-in-law. The day is celebrated to bring the family closer together.
The celebration of Jamai Shoushti begins the day before the wedding, with the bride and groom making a grand entrance into the mansion. The mother-in-law will serve the feast, including a special Bengali dish called’sondesh’. The bridegroom’s parents will make a big deal out of the day, and the new husband will be spoiled with a full banquet. The entire family will share this special feast.
The celebration is also an important part of the culture. The Bengali government grants two days of official leave to people to participate in Jamai Shoushti. The festival is so important in West Bengal that the government has even released a movie about it. The film is titled Jamai Shoushti, and the story revolves around the festivities. It has become an integral part of Bengali society.
8. Lakshmi Pooja
The Lakshmi Pooja festival in West Bengal is celebrated with great enthusiasm and religious fervor. In addition to worshiping the goddess, the people of Kolkata also offer five kinds of whole fruits to her. These include bananas, pomegranate, bilva, cotton, and turmeric. Rice is another important offering that is given to the goddess. These items are used to make the kalasha.
Despite the ravages of COVID-19, the state of West Bengal witnessed Lakshmi Puja celebrations across the state. In Kojagari, the goddess is worshipped in households and community pujas are held at Durga puja pandals and markets. People also worshiped pictures of the Goddess. Many houses decorated the interiors of their homes with images of Lakshmi.
The festival begins five days after Vijaya Dashami and continues for five days more. The festival is also known as Kojagari Lakshmi pujo in Bengali, and is celebrated five days after the Vijaya Dashami in Assam. In other parts of India, the festival falls on the full moon day of Sharada. For the purpose of worshipping Lakshmi, the women and children wear colourful dresses and garlands in celebration of the goddess.