Shubho Mahalaya: Here’s Why Mahalaya Is Celebrated

by Curly Tales Desk
Shubho Mahalaya: Here’s Why Mahalaya Is Celebrated

Wishing you all a Shubho Mahalaya! The long-anticipated day is finally here that ends the Pitru Paksha and marks the beginning of the Matri Paksha. Mahalaya is just the perfect start to the upcoming festive season. With the arrival of this auspicious day, Bengalis get all excited to welcome Maa Durga in just a few days. This day always holds a very special corner in every Bengali’s heart.

Why Do We Celebrate Mahalaya?

On this auspicious occasion, Maa Durga defeated the evil Mahishasura, and to celebrate her victory, we Bengalis have this day, a week before Durga Puja. This day shows us how ‘good triumphs over evil’! Mahalaya comes with a lot of religious and spiritual significance as well. This is the day when the artists draw the eyes of Maa Durga. This ritual is known as ‘Chokkhu Daan’ which means offering the eyes to the idols. In fact, a small puja is done before the artists start this ritual.

Photo credit- Arin Sarkar

Also read: Durga Puja 2022: 15 Kolkata Pandals You Need To Visit

Mahalaya Is Incomplete Without Listening To Mahishahur Mardini

It is hard to find someone young who wakes up at 5 am but the scenario is very different on Mahalaya. Every Bengali wakes up early in the morning and listens to the Mahalaya Mahishahur Mardini by Birendra Krishna Bhadra. Some even stay glued to their TV screens to watch the Mahishahur Mardini coming into action. It is a very blissful and soul-soothing experience for everyone.

Photo credit- Arin Sarkar

Also read: Durga Puja 2022: Kolkata Police Utsav App Features Details On 60 Iconic Pandals For Travellers

What Is The Significance Of Mahalaya?

Durga maa
Image Credits: Canva

As Mahalaya is primarily associated with Maa ascending to earth, it also represents the power and victory of good over evil. According to Hindu mythology, the supreme gods and humans were unable to defeat the immortal demon, Mahishasura. So, the three Lords – Brahma, Vishu, and Maheshwara faithfully prayed to Adi Shakti for protection from constant demon attacks. 

The power of these supreme Lords’ combined and fabricated to bring into existence the divine and mighty Maa Durga from within. Hearing the iconic and goosebump-worthy Mahalaya Mahishahur Mardini marks the auspicious commencement of Maa ascending to earth. Bengalis get incredibly excited with the prelude to the grand 10-day non-stop celebration of Durga Puja from the day of Mahalaya.

Maa Durga Comes To Earth Today!

As Mahalaya is the end of Pitru paksha, elders of thousands of families visit the banks of the Ganga River in the early morning, perform ‘tarpan’, and pay homage to their ancestors. Water is offered to the departed souls of the ancestors by offering prayers to them. Also, they provide bhog to the Brahmins and feed the needy people as well.

Photo credit- Wikimedia Commons

After all these rituals of Sarva Pitra Amavasya, it is said that Maa Durga arrives on Earth from the Kailash Parvat in the evening. Today is finally the day people start getting extremely excited for the festive season as this celebration marks the start of the Durga Puja.

Cover Image Courtesy: Arin Sarkar

Written by Shreya Ghosh and Ankita Mazumdar

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