Durga Puja festival marks the battle of goddess Durga with the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, and her emerging victorious.
Thus, the festival epitomises the victory of good over evil, but it also is in part a harvest festival that marks the goddess as the motherly power behind all of life and creation.
The Durga Puja festival dates coincide with Vijayadashami (Dussehra) observed by other traditions of Hinduism, where the Ram Lila is enacted — the victory of Rama is marked and effigies of demon Ravana are burnt instead.
The primary goddess revered during Durga Puja is Durga, but her stage and celebrations feature other major deities of Hinduism such as goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge,love,beauty and music), Ganesha (god of good beginnings) and Kartikeya (god of war).
The latter two are considered to be children of Durga (Parvati).
The Hindu god Shiva, as Durga's husband, is also revered during this festival.
The festival begins on the first day with Mahalaya, marking Durga's advent in her battle against evil. Starting with the sixth day (Sasthi), the goddess is welcomed, festive Durga worship and celebrations begin in elaborately decorated temples and pandals hosting the statues.
Lakshmi and Saraswati are revered on the following days.
The festival ends of the tenth day of Vijaya Dashami, when with drum beats of music and chants, Shakta Hindu communities start a procession carrying the colorful clay statues to a river or ocean and immerse them, as a form of goodbye and her return to divine cosmos and Mount Kailash.