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Durga puja is an experience that cannot be described in words. It is an emotion that people experience and live through. We look forward to this festivity all year. Every year, when the moon enters into the Shravana Nakshatra, Bengalis all over the world are looking forward to the celebration. It is the season when gods visit our home. They are believed to spend their vacation in our world, staying in the form of idols. 

 The celebrations are filled with festivities, dance, drama, music, fairs, food and shopping. Durga Puja is an emotion of pure bliss. Families come together, dida’s(grandmothers) meet their beloved grandchildren, friends gossip and enjoy varieties of food. 

Pandal hopping is an essential part of the celebration. Dressing up in a new set of clothes and pandal hopping with friends is a fun part of the celebrations. 

Sweets are an essential of each Bengali festival. It's the brotherhood's unwritten code. There are rosogolla, sandesh, mishti doi, and a dozen other sweets to taste during the puja, and we must try them all.

How can one forget the unique khichdi, whose flavor can never be duplicated. It's commonly served with a side of vegetables, a fried dish (potato, brinjal, pumpkin), a sweet mishti, and chutneys.

True shoppers have no season, most people start gearing up for the puja shopping around July and August.Everyone is affected by the enthusiasm of Puja shopping, from young to old. But puja shopping isn't just about squeezing into a crowded store and waiting hours for your turn at the cash counter. Pujo shopping is also about eating kati-rolls and phuchkas, ordering your favourite biryani packed for dinner (who wants to cook after a long day of Puja shopping?), spending time with beloved family and friends.

In some ways, the celebrations begin long before the Goddess arrives.

At a time when so many families are affected due to the pandemic, the real meaning of Pujo lies in the simple everyday moments spent with our loved ones.The importance of family-time, of finding joy in the little things –like home-made food, and realising that a festival can also be celebrated by relishing the everyday. Celebrate life itself.

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