The celebrations in West Bengal differ a little from the celebrations in the rest of the states adding to its exclusivity. For instance, the main day or the third day of Diwali, is referred to as Kali Puja. The Bengalis worship Kali Mata as opposed to worshipping Lakshmi Ji like most of the other states. The lamps that are lit in temples and houses on Diwali are in honor of Goddess Kali and her power to destroy all evils. Goddess Kali represents the destruction of evil, and is more dreaded than respected.
The calendar of celebrations for Diwali 2020 in West Bengal is as follows:
Kali Puja is also known as Shyama Puja and Mahanisha Puja in some of the other Indian states worshipping Kali on Diwali. The tradition of worshipping Kali Ma on Diwali is not very old. Before this, Diwali celebrations in West Bengal were similar to what it was in the rest of the country. In the late 17th century, Kalika Mangalkavya by Balram – a religious text devoted to Goddess Kali was discovered. It depicted an annual festival dedicated to Kali each year. It was during the 18th century that the tradition was started by King Krishnachandra and later carried on by his grandson Ishwarchandra to worship Kali on Diwali day.
The first two days of the three-day festivities are the main days of the festival with the magnitude of boundless festivities and merriment. Feasting, drinking, gambling, family gatherings, lights and firecrackers from morning to night is the normal routine for all and sundry. Diwali celebrations are similar to the celebrations in the rest of the country, houses are decorated and lit up, families and friends get together at each others houses and gambling parties are hosted.
Kali Puja is the second biggest festival of West Bengal following Durga Puja that takes place during Dussehra. Although Lakshmi Ji is worshipped during Diwali, the main Lakshmi Puja of Diwali in the other states, takes place on the full moon day (purnima), five days after Dussehra in West Bengal and Kali is the main deity worshipped during Diwali.