Unique Durga Puja Rituals

Embracing Tradition: 5 Unique Durga Puja Rituals That You Must Experience

17 October, 23

5 min read

Beige Gota patti Sarees By Taneira

Durga Pujo, a grand, week-long festival, marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, symbolising the triumph of good over evil.. Celebrated all over the country, and particularly in West Bengal, this festival is synonymous with elaborate pandals, artistic décor, cultural performance and many unique rituals that are truly intriguing.

Here are five such rituals that you must experience this Durga Puja:

  1. Dhanuchi Nach: The stunning pandals come alive with the one-of-a-kind Dhanuchi Nach, a dance form in which the devotees balance clay pots called Dhanuchi on their hands and in their mouths. These incense pots are filled with camphor and coconut husk, and release fragrant smoke that adds to the ambiance. The dance is performed on the beats of the Dhaak or drum, and is indeed a joyful expression of devotion. Mostly performed on Mahasaptami, Dhanuchi Nach is an essential part of the aarti on the day.

    What to Wear:

    Dressing up in traditional colours like red, off-white and yellow for Dhanuchi Nach adds to the energetic and vibrant atmosphere. How about a lovely Shibori saree for today? A shibori or embroidered Tussar saree looks graceful when draped in the Bengali style for the dance. An off-white Jamdani saree with a bright red blouse is also recommended. What makes these sarees ideal for the traditional dance is the comfort they offer. Lightweight and airy, they can be worn effortlessly and will allow you to enjoy the moment to the fullest.

  2. Durga Pujo Sarees By Taneira
  3. Nabapatrika Puja: Nabapatrika is a distinctive and special ceremony that takes place during the auspicious days of Durga Puja. Nine plants, including the banana leaf, turmeric, jute, bel, pomegranate, rice paddy, ashoka, arum and colocasia, are tied together and taken for a ceremonial bath to the Ganges. They are then brought back to the Durga Puja pandal, decorated next to the idol and worshipped as Goddess Durga and her divine forms.

    What to Wear:

    Today, a Chanderi saree would be a great option to explore. The breezy silhouette, sheer texture and intricate designs are reasons enough for you to choose this versatile saree style for the Nabapatrika Puja. You can also opt for a Silk Maheshwari saree, known for its bold zari borders and artistic pallu which looks gorgeous when draped over the left shoulder.

  4. Kumari Puja: Kumari Puja is observed on Ashtami and the ritual involves worshipping young girls as manifestations of Goddess Durga. The focus is on Shakti, the Goddess's power, which is believed to reside in every woman. The young girls dress up in traditional clothes and jewellery, and devotees offer them prayers, flowers, fruits and other gifts. While Kumari Puja is an interesting and significant part of Bengali culture, it is also celebrated as Kanjak (or Kanya Poojan) in North India.

    What to Wear:

    A festive yet comfortable kurta set will be an ideal choice for Kumari Puja. Silk Cotton kurta set with a minimal floral embroidery will ensure you are comfortable throughout the day. Saree lovers can also choose a Silk Khadi Cotton Bengal Jamdani saree for its breathable fabric, beautiful shade and traditional touch. Jamdanis come in a variety of colours, like orange, green, dark blue, baby pink, beige and lemon, to name a few.

  5. Durga Pujo Sarees By Taneira
  6. Sandhi Puja: Without a doubt one of the most mesmerising sights during Durga Puja, Sandhi Puja takes place at the moment when Ashtami ends and Navami begins. It is believed that at this moment, Goddess Durga transforms into her fierce and formidable form, Chamunda, to vanquish Mahishasura. The ritual involves the lighting of 108 oil lamps, offering 108 lotuses to the Goddess and chanting powerful mantra. During the aarti, Bengali women create a loud ‘Huuu’ sound while rolling their tongues to keep evil forces at bay. The sound of the conch shells and bells also adds to the intense and mystical atmosphere of this ritual, which lasts for exactly 24 minutes and 36 seconds.

    What to Wear:

    Participate in the spectacular Sandhi Puja while adorning an exquisite hand-painted saree. Dress up in red, the colour of the season, as you opt for Pure hand-painted Tussar Silk sarees with unique designs. Another elegant choice for this ritual is a traditional red or off-white Tussar Silk saree that is sure to offer some picture-perfect moments and a lot of comfort as you soak in the festive vibe.

  7. Durga Pujo Sarees By Taneira
  8. Sindoor Khela: Sindoor Khela is one of the most vibrant rituals during Durga Puja. It takes place on the last day of Durga Puja (Bijoya Dashomi). Hindu married women dress up in their traditional best, apply sindoor on Maa Durga’s idol and then on each other’s faces. This joyous and playful act celebrates their marital lives and the sisterhood among them. As the heartwarming tradition of Sindoor Khela comes to an end, devotees prepare to bid goodbye to the Goddess and pray for her to come back again next year.

    What to Wear:

    This day is perfect to flaunt your Lal Paar saree, and to dress up like a true Bengali boudi! The distinctive red border of the saree is further accentuated as you drape it in the Bengali style, with the pallu coming over the left shoulder. Taneira’s range of Lal Paar sarees is much loved for its traditional charm and is representative of the festive spirit of the Sindoor Khela ritual. From Tussar Silk hand-painted beauties and pure Silk woven sarees to Silk Cotton Maheshwaris and Jamdanis, there’s a wide range on offer.

  9. Durga Pujo Sarees By Taneira

Styling Tips for Durga Puja

Here are some styling tips to help you dress up this Pujo season:

  • No matter which saree design you opt for, draping it in the traditional Bengali style adds an authentic touch to your Durga Puja attire.

  • To drape the saree in the Bengali style, keep the length of the pallu long enough so that you can drape it from the front and take it over the left shoulder.

  • You can go for matching or contrasting blouses with your sarees, but ensure that they are well-fitted and comfortable.

  • Traditional gold jewellery like a choker or long chain for the neck, gold jhumkas and a mang tika are often paired with the traditional Bengali saree look.

  • Feel free to experiment with hairstyles that you are confident about. You can try a messy bun with flowers, or simply keep your hair open.

  • A red bindi and red lip colour goes stunningly well with the Laal Paar

  • If you’re planning to participate in the dance performances or wish to go pandal hopping, stick to low-heeled sandals or comfortable flats.

While embracing traditional attire for Durga Puja is a wonderful choice, it is always a good idea to add your personal touch to it. From the initial idol-making process to the extraordinary rituals, every aspect of Durga Puja is a testament to the devotion towards Maa Durga and the coming together of communities. So get set to be a part of this colourful spectacle and don’t forget to dress your best. Explore Taneira’s Laal Par collection, an exclusive range of Pujo sarees on www.taneira.com or visit a Taneira store near you today.