Durga Puja is not just about pandal hopping but way more than that. There are some of the amazing rituals that hold some deep significances. While the celebrations have begun we cannot wait for the Navpatrika or Nabpatrika Puja that is held on Maha Saptami. The significance of Navapatrika is very special. The day also sees the Kola Bou puja which translates to Banana Bride worship literally. Eastern India, especially Bengal celebrates 'Kolabau Puja' with great enthusiasm and fervour. Kolabau who is known to be the wife of Ganesha, is bathed on this day, dressed and transformed into a goddess. The ceremonial bath in the Ganga river holds immense importance. On Mahasaptami, or the seventh day, the bathing of the Kala-bou or the banana-bride takes place that sees a banana tree being taken to the banks of the Ganga and given a ceremonial bath.

Maha Saptami 2020 Date and Significance

The Kola bau puja will take place on Friday, October 23 when the tree will be draped in a white saree with a red paad (border) with some sindoor on its leaves. The tree is then kept on the right side of the idol of Ganesh, implying that she is the bride of Lord Ganesh. Another significance of the Kala-bou is seen as the coming together of Naba-Patrika, or the nine leaves. On the trunk of the banana tree, these leaves are ritualistically tied. Here's the list:

  • Holud gaach or the turmeric tree
  • Bel gaach of the wood apple tree
  • Daalim gaach or the pomegranate tree
  • Maankochu or the arum plant
  • Rice plant
  • Ashok tree
  • Kochu gaach of the colacassia plant
  • Jayanti gaach of the saal tree

Each of the above also stands for different forms of goddesses, like the banana tree representing Goddess Brahmani, turmeric tree representing Durga, wood apple tree representing Lord Shiva himself, the pomegranate tree representing Raktabija, Arum plant for Chamunda, rice for Lakshmi, Ashok tree for Sokrahita, the colocasia for Goddess Kalika and the Jayanti for Kartiki. The last four days are considered very sacred and they are celebrated with immense fervour. Maha Puja begins on the seventh day of Navratri and Maa Durga is worshipped via offering the prayers to the Navpatrika or Nabapatrika i.e. a bunch made of nine types of leaves. These nine leaves are considered to symbolise the nine forms of Durga. The Nav Patrika is bathed with water from the Ganges or any holy river before sunrise. This bath is called Maha Snan.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 18, 2020 03:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).