With autumn comes celebrations for Hindus in India. While the western and northern parts of India gears up for Navratri, the east celebrated Durga Puja. Although both the festivals are celebrated for a period of nine days, rituals differ from each other.
Key differences between Durga Puja and Navratra:
1. Navratri is celebrated for a period of nine days, followed by Dussehra. On the other hand, Durga Puja is celebrated for a period of 10 days.
2. Navratri revolves around worshipping Goddess Durga in her nine forms and it ends with a celebration of Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana. Durga Puja celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur.
3. While Navrati is a period of fasting where devotees do not consume eggs, meat, onion and garlic during the nine-days, Durga Puja is a time when Bengalis indulge in a plethora of non-vegetarian delicacies. Celebrated by Bengalis at large, Durga Puja is the time to enjoy, laugh and have authentic Bengali cuisine.
4. The first day of Durga Puja is Mahalaya, a day when the battle between Durga and Mahishasura begins. On the other hand, Navratri begins with worshipping Shailputri, the first avatar of Goddess Durga.
5. Durga Puja ends with Sindoor Khela (vermillion game), where married women put sindoor on each other, before the immersion of idol. After immersion of idols, people wish Vijayadashami to one another. On the other hand, Navratri ends with Dussehra, which marks the end of Ramlila and recalls Lord Ram’s victory over Ravan.