These are the two most important Indian festivals, one celebrated mostly in North and West India, whereas the other one celebrated in Eastern India. Navratri or the 9 days of worship of Maa Katyayani, Maa Ambe, Maa Jagdamba and all other known forms of Maa Durga is hailed as the purest and holiest days of the Hindu calendar. It starts on Ekadashi and ends on Navami, post which begins the Dussehra festivals. It is during the same time, Bengal in Eastern India celebrates Durga Puja which is the major festival of all Hindu Bengalis. Not just entire Bengal, states like Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Tripura and Odisha too celebrate Durga Puja with intense fervor and religious passion. This time of the year, the air is filled with festivity and everyone seems to be in a festive mood, wearing new dresses and enjoying good food at home and in restaurants.
Durga Puja and Traditional Bengali Fashion
Bengalis are die-hard food lovers, it would not be wrong to say sweet lovers, but of late they have developed a fascination for designer couture, especially fashion clothing and stylish ethnic wear. This was not the case a couple of decades ago when the average Bengali woman or a girl, would dress up in a humble Indian saree, be it cotton, silk or printed. They were always satisfied with this only piece of traditional Indian clothing which was visible in almost all households, and among all ages of woman. Even state government high schools across Bengal made it a mandatory wear for all schoolgirls in grade 10, 11 & 12. But over the years, this has changed and girls are now dressing up in a more dynamic way than ever before.
It is during Durga Puja, traditional Bengali fashion comes alive with lots of variation and style in the traditional ‘Sari’ which can be either a Baluchari sari or an authentic Bengal tant saree. Such an outfit brings out the true Bengali woman feel, from within. But nowadays, more and more women are opting for embroidered lehenga cholis, fashionable kurtis, Anarkali suits and Patiala suits during the five days of Durga Puja celebration. They even go for buying highly fashionable Indo Western gowns, apart from a gorgeous saree which they keep it for the penultimate day of celebration. So, the fashion taste of Bengali girls and women have changed here in India, especially during festivals, as they are now increasingly going for designer couture of big brands that look really elegant and sophisticated. Durga Puja is the time to treat your eyes with some authentic Indian fashion and taste buds with culinary delights from the East.