Kali Puja, is a Hindu festival and involves worshiping Goddess Kali. This is also named as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja. It is celebrated on the new moon day of the month Kartik, according to the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated mainly in Western regions of India like West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Bangladesh. This festival is celebrated on the same day as in Lakshmi puja. While the Western part of India celebrates Kali Puja, the other parts of India celebrate Lakshmi Puja. It is now considered to be the famous Goddess festival of Bengal and Assam. Kali Puja will be Celebrated on Thursday, 19 October, 2017.
Kali Puja Mythology:
This festival is celebrated from 18th century and gained popularity during the 19th century, when King Krishnachandra’s grandson started celebrating Kali Puja in a grand scale. Like Durga Puja, Kali Puja is celebrated for worshipping Goddess Kali. The deity clay statue is placed in houses and in pandals and mantras are chanted and offering like red hibiscus flowers, sweets are given to Goddess Kali on this auspicious day. In Bengal, Kali Puja is also held in the large cremation ground, where she is believed to dwell. Recently, another custom like wine consumption has also been included in this festive celebration.
In the pandals decorated during this occasion also hold a picture of Lord Shiva. Including this, images of Goddess Kali’s devotees namely Ramakrishna and Bamakhepa are also placed in the pandals alongside Kali. This is also considered as a time for magic shows and fireworks. In Kalighat temple, Kolkata and Kamakya temple, Guwahati, Goddess Kali are worshipped as Goddess Lakshmi on this special day. The celebrations of Kali puja has changed a lot from that of 19th century. However, the motive remains the same, ‘Destruction of Ego and Negative tendencies that acts as a hindrance for spiritual progression’.
Kali Puja at Home:
This is a simple procedure which involves few items, unlike Lakshmi Puja. At first clean the space, where you are going to place the Goddess image and place the below items in front of her.
- Bowl of rice
- Rice grains
- Red Hibiscus flower without stem
After placing these items in front of her, devotees have to meditate for a few minutes. Following this, chanting of mantras begin. The Goddess is offered wine, Honey, Beer, etc. After Puja, they perform purification process and offer flowers to all those who have attended the Puja. After completion of puja, the food placed in front of Kali is distributed to everyone.
Even though, the Kali Puja is celebrated on the new moon day of Kartik month, Kali is worshiped on other days like a new moon day of every month. Other two Kali puja observed are Ratanti Kali Puja and Phalaharini Kali Puja. In Bengal and Assam, Kali is worshiped daily in each and every house.