The essence of Puja is that all the passions of India converge: emotion, culture, the love of life, the warmth of being together, the joy of celebration, the pride in artistic expression and yes, the cult of the goddess. It may be about religion. But it is about much more than worship.
There is no such vast contrast in earlier times of celebrating Durga Puja as compared to now. But still, things have changed.
• Earlier, the festival was celebrated by worshipping plants of nine different types.
• These plants are said to be the nine divine forms of Durga Ma and are called as Kala Bou.
• But in contemporary traditions, setting up of magnificent pandals and beautifully sculpted idols also has become an important part of Durga Puja.
• There are many people who go pandal-hopping only to view the different types of pandals that have been put up on display.
The celebrations are no longer limited to only rituals and traditions anymore but there is a lot more that happens. Now, you can be a part of during Durga Puja, like several cultural programs that include dance and music.