Durgotsav in Gothenburg: Durga Puja on 12th and 13th October at Backa Folketshus

ATHENA Ethical MEDIA: From the archives of Durga Puja 2018

The two-day Durgotsav in Gothenburg is scheduled to take place on October 12th and 13th 2019 at Back Folketshus with dance and poetry, rites and rituals, fashion shows and songs. On Saturday, 12th October, the festival will start with traditional rituals to the idol of Goddess Durga which will begin at 11: 30 am and continue till 3 pm. In the evening the programme will start at 4: 30 pm and continue till 8-9 pm till the dinner is served. On the first day of the festival, the three days’ of Navaratri’ — Sashthi, Saptami and Ashtami — will be observed and celebrated. One the second day of the Durga Puja, on 13th October, the last two days of Navaratri— Nabami (9th day) and Dashami (10th day) or Vijaya Dashami or Bijoya (good bye in Bengali) — will be observed and celebrated. The Folketshus in Backa will be transformed into one of the pandals echoing in India: replete with idols and decorations with participants congregating from different parts of West Sweden.


Durgotsav or Durgotsava or Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival spread out over ten continuous days and celebrated widely and intensely across the Indian subcontinent and particularly in the Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal. The festival is also celebrated in Nepal and it is called Dashain. The festival is a celebration of the Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon king Mahishasura, and it starts on Navaratri – the nine-night festival marking and celebrating the divine feminine.

Triranta Sircar: ‘…want to have a nice social integration among the Indians and Swedes…’

In Gothenburg, the Bengali Association of Gothenburg, is organising Durgotsav. Triranta Sircar, one of the members of the organisation and organisers of the festival said, “This year is the second year of Durga Puja for us. We began in the first year to bring a piece of home, homeland to Sweden, which is our new homeland, and we wanted every one, all the Indians and many Swedes to be part of this puja. Because we not only want to celebrate this biggest festival in India, the way we celebrate it at home but we also want others to see and be part of. We want to have a nice social integration among the Indians and Swedes and unite with the rest of India fully, abroad.”


The Durga Puja pandal (platform on which the deities will be placed) is specially decorated by a team of 15-members. The members are handcrafting every single piece of the decorations. Triranta Sircar informed, “The theme is ‘Save Water – Save Earth’ taking into consideration ‘how important water is to sustain our lives on the planet Earth’”.


One of the highlights on the second of the Durga Puja at Folketshus is Sindur Khela. Sindur Khela, also known as Sindoor Daan, on Vijayadashami marks the celebration of the marital status of Durga – a married woman or suhaagan. Sindoor or Sindur is also the name for vermilion powder which Hindu women put it on their forehead as a dot or as an amply visible circle denoting that she is married.

Sindur Khela is scheduled to take place at 14:00 on 13th October which marks applying of vermilion or sindoor to the Goddess Durga. Women present at that moment also smear one another with vermilion on their faces – for a blissful and peaceful marital life and also in honour of their husbands and for their wellbeing.


On 12th October: Sashti, Saptami, Ashtami

Puja starts: 11: 30

Lunch: 13:30 – 15: 30

Hall closed: 15:30 – 16: 30

Sandhi Pujo: 16:30 – 17: 30

Cultural events: 17: 30 – 20: 30

Dinner: 20: 15 onwards

On 13th October: Nabami, Dashami

Puja starts: 10:30 – 13:00

Lakshmi Puja: 13:00 – 14:00

Lunch: 13:30 – 15:30

Sindur Khela and Dhunuchi: 14:00 – 14: 30

Hall closed: 15:30 – 16: 30

Cultural events: 17:30 – 20: 30

Dinner: 20: onwards

For more details about the festival: entry, coupons for lunch and dinner, timings, please check the Facebook page: Bengali Association of Gothenburg


You may also want to read:

A Whiff of Bengali Culture in Sweden: Durga Puja