Durga Puja kick-starts next week and Bengalis across the globe are eagerly waiting to celebrate the joyous festival with splendour. Mahalaya marks the onset of Durga Puja and this year, it falls on 28 September. Durga Puja will be celebrated from 4 October to 8 October.
According to the Hindu lunar calendar, Mahalaya falls on Amavasya, the last day of Krishna paksha in the Ashvin month. Although the Durga Puja rituals start with Mahalaya, the main festival begins on Mahashashti (4 October).
It is believed that on the day of Mahalaya, Goddess Durga along with her family Ganesha, Saraswati, Laxmi, and Kartikeya descends on Earth, her paternal home, every year.
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According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura, the buffalo demon received a boon of invincibility from Lord Brahma, which means no man or God could kill him. Mahishasura took advantage of this and started creating havoc in the universe. Seeing this, all the Gods came together and used their power to create Goddess Durga to defeat Mahishasura.
Durga killed the demon on Dashami and hence, this day is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami which marks the triumph of good over evil.
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Mahalaya Amavasya will begin from 28 September at 2.50 am extend till 29 September 12.24 am.