Happy Durga Puja Maha Panchami! The festival dedicated to Goddess Durga has begun and we couldn't be happier. Celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm, Durga Puja is one of the favourite festivals in the Eastern states of India such as West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, and Odisha. Holding spirits similar to Navratri, the ten-day festival is majorly celebrated in the last five days and the fifth day aka Panchami holds immense significance and is commemorated with full pomp and show. Durga Puja is widely observed from Shashti and continues until Bijoya Dashami or Vijayadashami. However, people begin with celebrations on Maha Panchami itself. While we have provided you with information on Durga Puja 2020 Calendar with full dates of Shashti, Maha Saptami, Durga Ashtami, Maha Navami and Vijayadashami, it is time to throw some light on Maha Panchami 2020 date, rituals such as Bilva Nimantran, Kalparambha Akal Bodhon, Amantran and Adhivas, which hold much significance for the Durga devotees. And while we are at it, we have for you Maha Panchami 2020 greetings to send on the occasion. It also includes Maha Panchami 2020 WhatsApp Stickers, Facebook Greetings, GIF Images, Messages, Instagram Stories and SMS. These HD images and wallpapers are sure to bring a smile on the faces of your closed ones.

When is Maha Panchami 2020? Know Date (Tithi)

Sharadiya Navratri 2020 kick-started on October 17 (Saturday). As mentioned above, the last five days of Navratri mark the main days during Durga Puja. Maha Panchami is the fifth day (tithi) of the fortnight (paksha) in Hindu lunar calendar month Ashwin, and it falls on October 21 (Wednesday) this year. Although Maa Durga’s face is unveiled on Shubho Shashti, Bengali community start with Pujo celebrations from very day of Maha Panchami.

According to Drik Panchang, Maha Panchami falls on Kartik 04, 1427 date in Bengali Calendar or Bengali Panjika based on Bisuddha Siddhanta. It corresponds to October 21, 2020 (Wednesday) as per the Gregorian Calendar.

Rituals That Will Take Place on Maha Panchami 2020

Bilva Nimantran Puja or Bilva Puja

Bilva Nimantran, one of the important rituals that take place to begin Durga Puja festival, usually takes place on Panchami or Shashti tithi. It is believed Sanyakal (dawn) on Shashti is the best time to perform Bilva Puja; however, if that is not possible, people can observe on Panchami tithi. The word “Nimantran” means “invitation” and during this ceremony, devotees invocate Goddess Durga in Bilva tree for the festival. According to Drik Panchang, Bilva Nimantran Puja can be performed between 15:50 to 18:08 on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

Kalparambha and Akal Bodhon

Kalparambha marks the beginning of Durga Puja rituals in West Bengal. It is considered equivalent to Bilva Nimantran in other states. Kalparambha is done one day before of Kolabou Puja, also known as Navpatrika Puja.

Akaal Bodhan (Bengali: অকাল বোধন) is the worship of Durga, in the month of Ashwin, an uncustomary time to celebrate the festival in her honour. The word “Akaal” means “untimed” (kaal=time and a=not) and the word “Bodhan” means “worship” or “invocation”. Thus, Akaal Bodhan means worship or invocation of Durga in an uncustomary time. It is given this name since the period of this worship differs from the conventional period, which is during the spring (Basant).

Amantran and Adhivas

Amantran and Adhivas is also another name for the same ritual of inviting or invocating Maa Durga in the Bilva Tree. The word "Amantran" means "invitation." And Adhivas ritual is performed to invocate the Maa Durga in Bilva tree for the entire festival time.

Subho Sasthi will see the actual celebration of Durga Puja by devotees. Major rituals such as Nabapatrika Puja or Kola Bou Puja will take place. For this ceremony, Navpatrika is formed by bundling nine different plants and the branch of Bilva tree in which Devi Durga was invocated during Bilva Nimantran Puja. Pujo is filled with customs, rituals and a whole lot of fun and excitement. We wish everyone Subho Maha Panchami and a very Happy Durga Puja 2020.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 20, 2020 10:21 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).