Durga Puja celebration in our country has its beginning several hundred years ago and it has been mentioned in several occasions in the Indian literature from as early as 12th century. Over the years, the celebration has changed a lot and today it has almost become a community festival. Previously, Durga Puja was a very expensive festival, as such it was celebrated only by rich people like kings, feudal lords and businessmen. But, over the years, it gained popularity and has been celebrated with great festive spirit by all classes of people.
In today’s world, there are so many clubs, societies and associations which have transformed the festival with a sophisticated look. Changes to a great extent can also be observed in its social and ceremonial significance, making it an occasion to display glamour and entertainment. In many places the traditional conch shells and drums have gradually disappeared and are replaced with loud film songs and the goddess is exhibited like modern film actresses. Also the animal sacrifice, which was a traditional custom earlier, has been given up at many places.
As against worshipping goddess Durga alone, now the custom in many places is to worship the goddess with her family, depicting Durga as the family head alongwith other members like Shiva, Ganesha, Kartikeya, etc. In the celebrations of Southern India, images and toys of gods are displayed at home during the nine-day puja period. But, whatever be the methods of celebration, the common theme is not missed, that is the worship of Goddess Durga.