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Durga Puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism, honouring the goddess Durga and marking her victory over the shape-shifting demon Mahishasura. It is also in part a harvest festival celebrating Durga as the Mother of the Universe.
It notably features the construction and decoration of sculpture-idols, which on the last day of the ten-day festival are taken by devotees to a river or the coast to be ceremoniously immersed.
Durga Puja is celebrated in a variety of ways, and observance differs from household to household, community to community, but often including recitation of scripture, revelry and performance, gift-giving, family visits, public procession, and feasting.
Durga Puja is observed in Ashvin, the seventh month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which overlaps September and October in the Gregorian calendar, and is the month preceding Diwali.