Maa Kali, the Hindu Goddess signifies “Shakti” Power and considered as the divine feminine energy of the Universe. According to the Hindu calendar or traditional Bengali calendar, Kali Puja is observed on the Amavasya tithi/day during the month of ‘Aashwin’. Generally, Kali Puja occurs during late October-mid November. Kali Puja is also known as Shyama Puja. People from West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, and Eastern India celebrate Kali Puja widely.
Most of the puja rituals connected with Kali Puja start generally at midnight. As Goddess Kali is associated with dark and demon worship, devotees perform the rituals strictly with great dedication.
In eastern India, the devotees observe this puja with great devotion and worship immense idols of Goddess Kali. On this day pandals, streets, houses are decorated with lights and flowers, and Kali puja is celebrated as a communal festival. Devotees must coordinate with the Pandit firstly and organize the puja samagri by late evening. One should assemble the puja materials in the puja place prior to starting the puja in the midnight.
A brief Puja Process:
If you’re doing Kali Puja at home then you don’t have to follow all the Vedic rituals. But if you’re a part of communal Kali puja then you should follow all the rituals.
Once the puja area is cleaned, establish an idol or image of Maa Kali, and to sit comfortably facing the image. Arrange all the puja samagri on the Puja Thalis and sprinkle some holy water and akshata to purify them.
Now perform the invoking process by using incense, incense sticks, and perfume. Start worshipping by using red sandal wood paste, and flowers. Perform Nyasa, sound the bell or gong, and meditate for Maa Bhagwati.
Now, one can offer clothes, aachman, holy thread, sandalwood paste/powder, Akshatha, prasadam, to the Goddess.
After the puja is done, offer food along with Dakshina to the Brahmins who took part in the puja and distribute the prasad among devotees.