Date, timing and tithi of the festival
Kali Puja is observed every year on the new moon day of Kartik month. On this day, Diwali is also celebrated. The festival of Kali Puja will be observed on November 12, 2023, on Sunday.
A day before Diwali is also sometimes dedicated to Kali Puja. However, Kali Puja is generally observed on the day of Diwali each year.
Nishita Kaal Start: November 12, 2023, Sunday 11:40 pm
Nishita Kaal End: November 13, 2023, Monday 12:31 am
Kartik Amavasya Tithi Start: 12 November 2023, Sunday, 02:44 pm.
Kartik Amavasya Tithi End: 13 November 2023, Monday, 02:56 pm.
The most significant day of Diwali, the new moon day, is observed by worshippers in West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam. At the same time, the majority of Indians honour Goddess Lakshmi on Amavasya Tithi.
A Hindu celebration called Kali Puja honours the Goddess Kali. Kali Puja is observed on the new moon day during the Diwali festivities.
Diwali Puja and Kali Puja usually fall on the same day; however, Kali Puja may occasionally fall the day before Diwali Puja. For Kali Puja, the day when Amavasya occurs at midnight is taken into consideration, whereas for Lakshmi Puja, the day when Amavasya occurs at Pradosh is taken into consideration.
The full moon day in the lunar month of Ashwin is the most significant day for Goddess Lakshmi devotion in West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam. The Bengal Lakshmi Puja, also known as Kojagara Puja, is performed on Purnima Tithi in the month of Ashwin. Shyama Puja is another name for Kali Puja.
The Abhaya Mudra on Goddess Kali’s right hand is considered to protect the universe, while the Varada Mudra on her left hand symbolizes her maternal love for her followers. Kali is revered as the protector of nature since she is also the Goddess of preservation.
According to Hindu myth, Goddess Kali’s powerful tandav, which shook the earth, announced her victory over demons. Her tongue stuck out when she unintentionally walked on Lord Shiva’s chest since he had laid in front of her to calm her down when he saw her on the verge of destroying the planet and stopping the tandav.
- Goddess Kali is seen as a manifestation of Goddess Durga.
- Demons and evil powers are exterminated from this realm by Goddess Kali.
- We adore Maa Durga in her Kali form during the Kali Puja.
- On this day, the new moon day of the Kartik month, Goddess Kali is said to have appeared with 64000 Yoginis.
- We all adore Goddess Kali on Kartik Amavasya each year because of this.
- The compassionate Goddess Kali constantly remembers to bless her offspring.
- The Kali Puja sends society a message that women are not frail. A woman has tremendous power, and she is also capable of destroying evil.
History Behind The Festival
While many festivals celebrated in India and Nepal date back to ancient times, Kali Puja is relatively new. Raja Krishnachandra of Navadvipa brought it to Bengal in the eighteenth century. From then on, and throughout the 19th century, this festival grew in popularity. In Assam and Bengal, it is now a celebration that rivals Durga Puja in popularity and scale.
The Goddess Kali is frequently portrayed as a conqueror of evil. In one of her most well-known stories, Durga uses a variety of weapons to inflict injuries on the demon Raktabija in an effort to kill him. She soon discovers, though, that her actions have made things worse rather than better. This is because Raktabija fully developed with each drop of blood she lost. There were so many of them that their replicas were everywhere on the battlefield. But when things seemed to be going badly, Kali, wielding a sword and a noose, suddenly appeared from Durga’s forehead. When Kali finished killing all demon clones, she danced on their dead bodies.
The first of Durga’s ten incarnations is Kali. Kali is represented as having a fearsome visage and is said to be a more violent version of Durga. Kali is revered for battling for justice and destroying evil and egoism. To protect heaven and earth from evil demons, Kali was born from Durga’s forehead.
Kali, the cosmic force and element that gave birth to the universe, was colourless and stayed black. She remained naked, but when she saw Shiva, the embodiment of cosmic consciousness, existence, and happiness, reclining behind creation, she stuck out her tongue, recalling that even omnipotence is only a fundamental characteristic of the ultimate Absolute. On Amavasya, a night with no moon, which falls around Diwali, the festival of lights, Kali Puja is observed. Diwali represents illumination both inside and outside. It commemorates the day Rama returned to north India after defeating the evil demon Ravana.
According to the legend of the “samudra manthan,” or “churning of the ocean,” it is also connected to Goddess Lakshmi as she rose from the sea. The celebration honors Rama’s ultimate homecoming from exile with a sparkling row of lights emanating from each residence. Additionally, the Pandavas’ journey out of the jungle coincides with it.
Many Kali believers will decorate their homes and adorn them with altars to the Goddess in honour of Kali Puja. She is worshipped in the evening using mantras and Tantric rituals, and she is given red hibiscus flowers and a variety of food offerings, such as lentils, rice, pork, and fish. On this day, some worshippers will ritually sacrifice animals and offer them up to the Goddess, though in recent years, this custom has started to fade.
Temples and shrines around the nation have one of the Goddess Kali’s most well-known representations. She is depicted holding down Lord Shiva with one of her foot and wearing a garland made entirely of the heads of the demons she has vanquished throughout the millennium. She is frequently shown with a noose in one hand and a sword in the other. People often leave offerings of sweetmeats, rice, lentils, and red hibiscus flowers in these pictures, just as they would in their homes.
Traditional Foods Consumed
Bengali Khichuri, akin to a one-pot dish, is one of the traditional foods prepared on Kali Puja. Moong dal, basmati rice, vegetables like cauliflower, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes, as well as a variety of spices, are used to produce this rice dish. You will only realize that this dish, khichuri, is created using onion or garlic after just one bite. As part of the bhog, the Goddess is also given this khichuri.
Labra is a fantastic dish that may easily be mistaken for mixed veg and is another vegetarian recipe used in the bhog. The fact that it is prepared using potatoes, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, and peas is the same explanation. This recipe’s inclusion of sugar and grated coconut distinguishes it unique from typical mixed vegetable dishes.
Niramish Pathar Mangsho
This is the vegetarian mutton made for Kali Puja, which may seem strange. This mutton curry is made with a sacrificed goat initially offered to Maa Kali. Since onion and garlic are not utilized in creating this holy food, it is known as niramish. Instead, various whole and ground spices and curd are used to make it. This mutton curry must be consumed in full.
Chanar Payesh, another well-known Bengali dish, is sometimes called cottage cheese pudding or paneer ki kheer. Grated cottage cheese, or paneer, is cooked in condensed milk, whole cream milk, and cardamom powder to make this dish. Dry fruits are added to the payesh once it has thickened and then consumed.
Tangra Macher Jhol
This dish is a light and flavorful fish curry made with freshwater Tangra fish. This meal, which is made with potatoes, onion, and a variety of spices, is more akin to a fish broth. With steamed rice, this freshwater fish broth is frequently consumed.
A delicious meal composed of gobindobhog rice, ghee, sugar, saffron, cashews, raisins, and whole spices is served to the Goddess once more in this dish. This traditional dish, called Mishti Pulao, is made for special occasions and festivals and has a flavour you will remember. This delicacy is frequently prepared with aged rice and served with kosha mangsho.
- What purpose does Kali Puja serve?
The purpose of Kali Puja is to ask the Goddess for her blessings on happiness, health, riches, and serenity in general. Most ceremonies occur at night when worshippers present offerings of red hibiscus flowers, goddess Kali’s favourite flower, during their puja.
- How many different Kali Pujas exist?
Ratanti Kali Puja, Phalaharini Kali Puja, and Kaushiki Kali Puja are three additional significant Kali Puja celebrations. While Ratanti Puja is held on Magha Krishna Chaturdashi and Phalaharini Puja is observed on Jyeshta Amavashya of the Bengali calendar, Kaushiki Kali Puja is related to Goddess Tara of Tarapith.
- What is Kali’s Favourite Colour?
Most places offer purple sarees to Goddess Kali. Occasionally a purple and crimson combination. In South India, the sarees are offered to Goddess Bhagavathi on any Tuesday or Friday and any other auspicious day connected to the Goddess. She typically receives a saree in either red or green.
- Who can control Kali?
Only Shiva, the destroyer and weed god, can halt Kali’s destructive tendencies. According to others, Shiva flung himself beneath Kali’s feet to prevent her from destroying the universe. It makes sense that Kali would need some coolness, and the Hindu pot deity would provide it.
- What flower does Kali like?
Only blood-red Hibiscus blossoms are used to worship Goddess Kali, the Adishakti, or the essence of a woman’s power. This rite is performed because the vivid red marigold flowers complement her effigy, which depicts her in all-power wearing an Asura head garland and with blood streaming from her mouth.
- Which animal is connected to Kali?
In addition to a tiger hide sari and a garland of human heads, Kali has a dark blue, gaunt appearance with sunken eyes. She defeats the two demons right away. Later on, in the same conflict, the demon Raktabija remains unconquered thanks to his capacity to reappear from every drop of blood that touches the earth.
- Why is Kali referred to as mother?
She is frequently linked to violence and sexuality, yet she is also viewed as a strong mother and a representation of maternal love. Parvati, the wife of the powerful Hindu god Shiva, is represented by Kali as the embodiment of shakti, or feminine energy, creativity, and fertility.
- What happens when Kali gets angry?
After this occurrence, it is stated that the Goddess developed a blood thirst and became insane. When she began the dance of destruction, she lost track of the fact that the demon had already been dispatched. After that, she continued to kill innocent people. When the Gods noticed this, they were quite concerned and went to Lord Shiva for assistance.
- What type of Prasad is given to Kali?
To obtain the deity’s grace, worshippers present that dish as Bhog or Prasad. Rice should be used to prepare the Goddess Kali’s meal gift. She also likes dishes in red colour. She enjoys rice-based desserts like kheer and sabzi, as well as sweets in the colour red.
- How can I appease the Goddess Kali?
We perform Mother Kali’s puja, chant Her name, repeat Her mantras, and remember Her in both good and bad times to worship Her.
- Why has Kali got four arms?
Her ability to create is represented by one arm. The universal principle of preservation is the second arm. The third is the sanitizing powers of devastation and disillusionment. A hand is extended on the fourth arm to signify blessing and redemption.
- How many heads does Kali wear?
According to Kali’s iconography, the fifty-two or fifty-five heads or skulls in the mundamala represent the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, denoting the wearer Kali as sabda Brahman, the Ultimate Reality known as a sound and the primordial sound of the sacred word Om.