Mahalaya marks the end of the ‘Pitri-paksha’ and the start of the ‘Devi-paksha’. It is the day from which people get into the festive mood for the Duga Puja which starts six days later.
Mahalaya is the day when the preparations for the Durga Puja reaches the final stage.
Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion which heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It’s a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth – “Jago Tumi Jago”. This invocation is done through the chanting of mantras.
In the dark night of amavasya (new moon), people pray to Goddess Durga to arrive in the earth to ward off all evils.
There are certain rituals which are performed on this day. Chokkhu Daan is one such important ritual of painting the eyes of the Goddess Durga idol.
Mahishasuramardini AIR Broadcast :
The mood of the Durga Puja celebrations starts off with Mahishasuramardini – a two-hour radio broadcast for which people wake up at 4 in the morning on Mahalaya day.
On this day every Bengali listens to the enchanting voice of the late Birendra Krishna Bhadra and the late Pankaj Kumar Mullick on All India Radio as they recite hymns from the scriptures from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi Path).
This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya for almost nearly six decades now.
“Ya devi sarbabhuteshshu, sakti rupena sanksthita Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha.”
Mahalaya 2018 Date :
In 2018, Mahalaya will be celebrated on Monday, 8th October 2018.