Everyone is looking forward to Durga Puja which begins after two weeks of 'Pitru Paksh Shradh' that ends with 'Mahalaya Amavasya.' In 2020 the Shradh is ending on September 17 but unlike every other year, this time we will have to wait for a month before welcoming Goddess Durga on 'Mahashashthi', which marks the beginning of the Durga Puja. Usually, the gap between 'Mahalaya' and 'Mahashashthi' is six days. But, this year 'Mahasashthi' is on October 22. The 35-day gap between 'Mahalaya' and 'Mashashthi' is regarded as 'mala mash' or an 'unholy month' which has two new moons or 'Amavasyas.' So, 'mala mash' is a month when according to scriptures the auspicious rituals are avoided.
Durga Puja which normally happens in the month of 'Ashwin' but now it will take place in the next month, that is, 'Kartik'. Ashwin is a 'mala mash' due to two new moons. Also, the two schools of almanacs popularly followed by Hindus, 'Bisuddha Siddhanta' known as the lunar calendar and 'Surya Siddhanta' known as the solar calendar are in agreement over 2020's puja schedule. The first day of 'Ashwin' is falling on September 17, which is a new moon and the second one will be on October 16 which is the 29th day of 'Ashwin', according to the Hindu calendar.
The most auspicious durations when Durga Puja is celebrated is the 'Devi Paksha' that begins from October 17. It starts with the first day of the Sharadiya Navratri which is also known as 'Pratipad.' The last time such an unusual phenomenon happened in 2001 and before that it took place in 1982.
Take a look at the important days and dates of Durga Puja 2020:
- Panchami: October 21
- Shashthi: October 22
- Saptami: October 23
- Ashtami: October 24
- Navami: October 25
- Vijaya Dashami: October 26 - the last day of Navratri culminating in Dussehra.