Durga Pooja is a hindu festival celebration of the Mother Goddess and the victory of the warrior Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. The festival represents female power as ‘Shakti’ in the Universe. It is a festival of Good over Evil. Durga Pooja is one of the greatest festivals of India. In addition to being a festival for the Hindus, it is also time for a reunion of family and friends, and a ceremony of cultural values and customs.The significance of Durga Pooja While the ceremonies bring observance of fast and devotion for ten days, the last four days of the festival namely Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami are celebrated with much sparkle and magnificence in India, especially in Bengal and overseas. The Durga Pooja celebrations differ based on the place, customs, and beliefs. Things differ to the extent that somewhere the festival is on for five days, somewhere it is for seven and somewhere it is for a complete ten days. Joviality begins with ‘Shashti’ – sixth day and ends on the ‘VijayaDashmi’ – the tenth day. Background of Durga Pooja Goddess Durga was the daughter of Himalaya and Menka. She later became Sati to get married to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the festival of Durga pooja started from the time Lord Rama worshipped the goddess to get a grant of powers from her to kill Ravana. Some communities, especially in Bengal, the festival is celebrated by decorating a ‘pandal’ in the nearby regions. Some people even worship the goddess at home by making all the arrangements. On the last day, they also go for immersing the statue of the goddess into the holy river the Ganges. We celebrate Durga Pooja to honour the victory of god over evil or light over darkness. Some believe another story behind this festival is that on this day the goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahisasura. She was called upon by the all three Lords – Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu to eradicate the demon and save the world from his cruelty. The battle went on for ten days and finally, on the tenth day, Goddess Durga eliminated the demon. We celebrate the tenth day as Dussehra or Vijayadashmi.