Kolkata, September 11: Amid the gloom all around us, there is an excitement among Bengalis as they gear up to celebrate Mahalaya 2020. However, unlike other years, this year we have to wait for more than a month before we get to welcome Goddess Durga on Maha sashti. Mahalaya 2020 falls on September 17.
The word "Mahalaya" is formed of two words "Maha" or grand and "Alaya" meaning abode. This is not just any other day for the Bengalis. It's a day of celebration, loaded with rich stories and beautiful traditions. Birendra Krishna Bhadra: The Powerful Voice on AIR on the Day of Mahalaya That Symbolises the Beginning of Durga Pujo Festivities for Bengali Community.
Date of Mahalaya 2020:
Mahalaya 2020 will be celebrated on September 17, which falls on a Thursday. On a normal year, the gap between 'Mahalaya' and 'Maha sasthi' is six days. However, this year, Durga puja starts on October 22, which means there is a gap of 35 days.
Significance of Mahalaya:
Mahalaya marks the end of Pitri Paksha or Pitru Paksha, when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, and the start of Devi Paksha. On this day, several rituals are performed, like offering food and water as a homage to their forefathers to express their gratitude, which is also known as Tarpon.
In most Bengali houses, people across age groups wake up at 4 am and tune in to the radio to listen to Birendra Krishna Bhadra's "Mahishasura Mardini" recitation from the verses of Chandi Path along with Bengali devotional songs.
Why is there a 35-days gap between Mahalaya and Maha sashti in 2020?
The 35-day gap between Mahalaya and Maha sashti is attributed to a phenomenon called the 'Mala Mash' or the 'unholy month' when auspicious rituals are avoided, according to scriptures. A 'mala mash' is a month, which has two new moons or 'Amavasya.'
Durga Puja normally happens in the month of 'Ashwin' but this year it will take place in the month of 'Kartik'. Ashwin is a 'mala mash' due to two new moons.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 16, 2020 11:26 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).