Today is the first of the five days of Puja, the worship of the goddess Bengalis call Ma Durga. Oct 2nd is Vijaya Dashami, the day the Puja (worship) ends. As children, we are told that Durga comes with her children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik, and Ganesh) to visit her parents. Another story goes that Rama, in his war against Ravana, invoked Durga to help him. He was victorious and the worship of Durga is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
Puja for Bengalis is something special. New clothes, gifts, great food, visiting friends and family, and of course going to Puja pandals. I will probably go to the local pujas around the San Francisco Bay area.
I wish you all a wonderful Puja.