DURGA PIMA is the festival of Durga, held iti Bengal in the mouth of Aswin, about October, and on this occasion the images of her sons, Karti keya and Gatiesha, are usually placed on CACI1 side of her. In Calcutta this is the most splendid and expensive, as well ttli the most popular, of any of the Hindu festivals, and takes place in the month AsWina, the end of September or beginning of October. The preliminary ceremonies occupy several days previous to the three days of worship. During the whole of this period all business is suspended, and pleasure and festivity prevail. This festival is known among the Mahrattas as the Dassemh. In the Durga puja, a sacred jar is an essential article in the celebration of the mysteries, and is marked with the combined triangles denot ing the union of the two deities, Siva and Durga. The Sakta sect, worshippers of the sakti, or female nfark the jar with another triangle. The Vaislinava in their worship use also a mystical jar, which is also marked. These marks, 3Ir. Paterson says, are called tantra, and are hieroglyphic characters, of which thero are a vast variety. He hence deduces the identity of the Durga puja with some Egyptian rites of a corre sponding nature. In sonic parts of the country there are figures paraded of a coarsely licentious character, but these are being forbidden. The
festival, with its boisterous and obscene 'Beni inent, its vigils of three successive nights, its monetary extravagance, its ludicrous sights, its licentious exhibitions, deteriorates the moral health of the community. On the fourth and last day no sacrifices are offered. After religious adom tions, the officiating priest dismisses the goddess, and implores her to return the next year. Tho dismissing ceremony over, the females of the house lament the departure of so beneficent a deity. The goddess is presented with gifts, and the dust of her feet is rubbed on the foreheads of the votaries. The idol is paraded through the streets with great pomp. The streets resound with music and singing, and the acclamations of the worshippers. As it passes along the streets, the spectators join their hands in form of adoration. The pamde over, the idol, with all its trappings and its tinsel ornaments, is cast into the waters, where the people vie with one another in rifling the goddess of her decorations.—Sir John Mal colm in 7'r. Bombay Lit. Soc.; Cole. Myth. Hin(L p. 91 ; Paterson, Essay on the Origin of the Hindu Religion ; Asiatic Researches, viii. p. 401.