Durga puja is the most fantastic event of the Bengalis, celebrated for five days. Few Durga puja in Switzerland are now more than 18 years old, and many Bengali associations in Switzerland are traditionally organizing Durga puja. Durga Puja in Kolkata is the most popular, but Switzerland’s Durga Puja has also achieved popularity.
Recently, The Durga puja of Kolkata has a place on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The worship starts on the day of “Mahalaya.” This year, the date is the 14th of October 2023 in India, and the day has significance in the Hindu religion.
Durga Puja is famous worldwide, especially in West Bengal, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Orissa, Delhi, Pune, etc. Even abroad, like New York, Japan, London, Australia, New Jersey, and Switzerland, Durga Puja In the UK and Bangladesh have grand Durga Puja celebrations.
List of 5 Best Durga Puja Pandals near Switzerland
1. Swisspuja Sarbojanin Durga puja at Zurich Switzerland
Among all the other places in Switzerland, Zurich had the most Durga pujas. “Swisspuja” celebrates Durga puja in Zurich with all the Bengali traditions Organized by Swisspuja Sarbojanin. Few Belgalis established this non-profit socio-cultural organization in 2003, and this puja has grown into a big event. Any person can attend these four days of festivities. They also arranged many cultural activities.
A unique feature of this puja is serving the “Bhog” ( festival meal) twice daily to more than 400 people. Along with the Bengalis, many Swiss people also attend this festival.
Swisspuja in Zurich, Switzerland, also organizes various social and cultural events, such as Rabindra Jayanti, Annual Picnic, Bijaya Sammelani, Philanthropy, etc.
- Venue: Schwerzisaal, In der Schwerzi 4, 8135 Langnau am Albis (ZH)
2. PrangaN Durga puja at Lausanne Switzerland
The next important Durga puja of switzwerland is held at Lausanne Organized by PrangaN. It’s a non-profit Bengali community that organizes this event every year.
The cultural event is one of the highlights of this puja. People love to take part in these events. Every year, the idol of Maa Durga comes from Kumartuli, Kolkata. Visitors were only allowed according to their booked slots.
PrangaN also organizes various social and cultural events, such as Vasanta Utsav, Rabindra Jayanti, drawing competitions, etc.
- Venue: Paroisses de Villamont Av.de Villamont 13. 1005 Lausanne
3. Ramakrishna Mission Durga puja at Geneva
This particular Durga puja festival in Geneva is different from the others. The reason behind this is Centre Vedantique (Vedanta Centre), an extended branch of Belur Math run by the principles of Sri Ramakrishna, Maa Sarada, and Swami Vivekananda.
Durga puja is held here every year. Visitors had to follow the strict rules of the centre. There are particular timings for the puja, and everyone must follow this.
After the puja, the “Prashad” is distributed among the visitors. Maa Sarada is worshipped here as a form of Maa Durga during these five days, and the recitation of Chandipath is done here during this time. Overall, the visitors can experience a very spiritual ambience here.
In Geneva, Switzerland, the Ramakrishna Mission also organizes various other types of social and cultural events, such as birthdays of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, Christmas Eve, yoga classes, Daily prayer, scriptural classes, etc.
- Venue: Centre Védantique- Avenue d’Aïre 63, 1203 Genève
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4. Sarbojonin Ananda Loke Milan Mandi Swiss Bangla Durga Puja
This puja is Organised by Sarbojanin Ananda Loke Milon Mandir and Started by the Bangladeshi Hindu Cultural Society in Switzerland in 2008. It’s a Bangladeshi community, and the community is trying to expand the rich Bangladeshi culture. Now, it’s known as the Swiss Durga Puja community.
Many people from the Bangladeshi Hindu community gather here every year. They enjoy the elaborate rituals and the festive mood. In this event, they show the rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh.
Venue: Goldbrunnenstrasse,8055 Zurich, Switzerland.
5. Durga puja at Basel Switzerland
Another popular Durga puja in Switzerland is held in Basel. They had organized a pre-registration facility and slot-booking policy.
The puja organizers have taken care of its visitors. For these four days of festivities, they organized several events. Events like sitting and drawing for the kids, fancy dress, and the committee included one cultural evening.
- Venue: Kleinhüningerstrasse 205, Basel, Switzerland, 4057
Durga puja in Switzerland
It’s a festival of ten days, and the last five days involve all the practices and rituals. Durga puja is the most popular occasion in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, and Bihar.
Switzerland is a beautiful country like the picture. The total population of this country is approx 8 million.
The five days of Durga puja
- Maha Sashthi
- Maha Saptami
- Maha Ashtami
- Maha Navami
- Bijaya Dashami
1. Maha Sashthi
It’s the 6th day of this festival when Maa Durga came to the earth with her four children: Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Ganesha, and Lord Kartikeya. On this auspicious day, the face of Maa Durga is unveiled. All the rituals started from this day. All the pandals begin beating the drums known as “Dhaak”. The rituals served on this day are:
- Bilva Nimantran
- Akal Bodhon
- Amantran and Adhivas
2. Maha Saptami
It’s the second day of the festival. On Maha Saptami, a Maha puja is being performed. A unique ritual named “Kola-Bou puja” is performed on the seventh day. The ritual includes a banana tree. Before the sun rises, this banana tree is deluged in holy water. After that, it gets covered by a new saree, precisely like a new bride. It is called “Kola Bou”. The rituals executed on this day are:
- Navapatrika puja
- Kola Bou puja
3. Maha Ashtami
This day holds a special significance. According to mythology, it is believed that Maa Durga killed Mahishashur on the eighth day. The prayer on this day is called “Anjali”. An extraordinary “Kumari Puja” ritual is a significant part of this day. Under this ritual, girls under nine years are worshipped as Goddess Durga. Later one more important ritual is performed. Which is the “Sandhi Puja”. Highlights of this day are:
- Kumari puja.
- Sandhi puja.
4. Maha Navami
As per Hindu tradition and calendar, the Maha Navami starts after the Sandhi puja. On this sacred eve of Maha Navami, a “Maha Arti” is performed. It’s a sad day for the devotees.
The next day, Maa Durga returns to his husband. Some special rituals are performed on this day, which are:
- Maha Navami puja.
- Durga Balidan.
- Navami Homa.
5. Bijaya Dashami
This is the last day of the festival. On this day, the idol of Maa Durga gets immersed in the water. It’s a celebration of the victory of good over evil.
Women perform “Sindoor Khela” ( vermillion game) after the “Ghaat Bisarjan” ( this is a symbolic immersion of Durga, which declares the end of the puja). A grand procession is arranged before the idol immersion, and people participate in it by beating drums on trucks. Special rituals of this day are:
- Vijay Dashami
- Sindoor Khela
Durga Puja Schedule date in India 2023
|Mahalaya||14th of October 2023|
|Maha Shashti||20th October 2023|
|Maha Saptami||21st October 2023|
|Maha Ashtami||22nd October 2023|
|Maha Navami||21st October 2023|
|Maha Dashmi||24th October 2023|
Durga Puja marks the victory of Goddess Durga against the mighty Asura named Mahishashura. It’s a battle between good vs. evil. Durga puja is an old tradition of Hinduism, performed every year with a lot of joy and happiness. So, which Durga puja in Switzerland do you like the most? Tell me in command.
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