But as a one-off festivity, Durga puja outstrips anything that happens in Bengali life in terms of pomp, glamour, and popularity.
And with huge diasporic populations spread across the world, she is now also a squarely international phenomenon, with her puja being celebrated wherever there are even a score or so of Hindu Bengali families in one place.
The Kolkata Statesman reports, “Durga Puja does not assume its festive aura without the maddening beats of the ) come to our cities from impoverished villages in Bengal, mingle with the revelers for four days and then retreat back into their seemingly endless and hopeless penury.
Before they go back, they beat their drums and walk our city streets, seeking tips, almost begging.
With more than 10 million people visiting the different (the temporary, covered pavilions or marquees created for the goddess) in Kolkata alone on any one of the four days of festivity (now effectively extended to a whole week), Durga puja could well be the biggest carnival on earth.
Kolkata's image has become synonymous with this grand autumnal festival of the goddess.
This is one Bengali festival that has people participating across religions and languages.
In that sense, Durga puja has an unmistakable cosmopolitan hue about it.
is celebrated with great pomp, more in social than spiritual exuberance.
In India, it often coincides with harvesting the Kharif crop and an annual bonus for industrial workers; the poor are fleetingly ‘cash-rich’.