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Durga Puja

Durga Puja (pronounced ['d???ga 'puja], Bengali: ‘Worship of Durga’), also referred to as Hiia Durgotsab (Bengali: , ‘Festival of Durga’), is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi , Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Debi Pokkho (Bengali: , ‘Fortnight of the Goddess’). Debi Pokkho is preceded by Mahalaya (Bengali: ), the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Pokkho (Bengali: , ‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’), and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja (Bengali: , ‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’).

Durga Puja is widely celebrated in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday and in Bangladesh where it is a major Bengali festival (with the last day being a national holiday). Not only it is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but it is also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Apart from eastern India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal. Nowadays, many diaspora Bengali cultural organizations arrange for Durgotsab in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, and Kuwait, among others. In 2006, a grand Durga Puja ceremony was held in the Great Court of the British Museum.
 
 
 
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