Why Do Bengalis Savour Nonveg Food During Dussehra?

The fragrance of Shiuli flowers filling the streets, the beats of Dhaak and Kashor Baaja echoing and the entire house zinging with the aroma of scrumptious delicacies. Do these dots connect in some way? Well, quite obviously, it's that time of the year again. It's Durga Puja and we know you can’t keep calm anymore. Not only you but even we are all set to don our favourite outfits, dance to the beats of Dhaak, and relish delicious food.

The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with utmost vigour and delight in all parts of India. The 10-days long celebration begins on the first day of Navratri and ends on Dussehra. Although Dussehra is one of the most important and awaited festivals in India, the Bengali Dussehra upholds a different level of excitement and fun. When the entire world wakes up normally on the 1st of October, Bengalis wake up with the realization “Maa Aasche” (Maa is coming). Although the rituals and celebrations are pretty much the same, one thing that doesn’t go without notice about Bengali Dussehra is the consumption of nonveg food. Unlike any other Indian festival, Bengali Durga Puja involves hearty indulgence in nonveg food items. We know you have already put on your thinking caps and wondering about the reasons behind this practice of eating nonveg food during an auspicious festival. So, we have tried to clear the fog around your mind through this article.

It is believed that Maa Durga is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the better half of Lord Shiva. She took the form of Goddess Durga to rid the earth of the demon Mahisashura. The battle between Maa Durga and Mahisashura lasted for 15 days after which Mahisashura was killed by the Goddess. The 15-days long battle exhausted Maa Durga and she decided to visit her maternal abode along with her children. As Bengalis consider Durga Maa as their daughter, they don’t leave a single stone unturned in treating her with the best foods available, including nonveg. Meat is also served as Prasad and symbolic sacrifices are made in various parts of West Bengal, Assam and Odisha. Not only Bengal but nonveg food is also cooked on the ninth and the tenth day of Dussehra to celebrate the victory of good over evil.

Now that you know the reason behind serving and relishing nonveg food during Durga Puja in Bengal, we hope you know the level of devotion and affection Bengalis have with the diety. Drop your thinking caps now and be ready to welcome the Goddess with full fervour.