Festival of Navratri

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Festival of Navratri – Victory of good over the evil

Navratri is a nine-day long festival in which nine incarnations of Goddess Durga is worshipped. The word Navratri itself means ‘nine-nights’ where each day is celebrated to honor the nine manifestations of the female divinity. According to Hindu calendar, the festival is commemorated in the ‘Ashwin’ month i.e. in September-October, which marks the beginning of the winter season. This festival fills the environment with a holy aroma as the devotees celebrate the occasion by adorning the idols with beautiful flowers, sandalwood paste, kumkum and turmeric. Devotees also sing hymns and dance to the holy tunes to offer their prayers to the goddess.

Significance of Navratri

According to Hindu mythology, the festival of Navratri signifies the victory of good over bad. It is said that ‘aadi shakti’ Goddess Durga exterminated the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura who had terrorized the human beings as well as the gods. After a prolonged nine-day and nine-night battle, the goddess finally killed the demon on the tenth day, which is celebrated as ‘Vijaya Dashami’.

On the same day, Dussehra is celebrated as Lord Rama defeated Ravana with the blessings of Goddess Durga.

Navratri Festival Goddess Durga

Navratri Festival Goddess Durga

Rituals performed during Navratri

Although Navratri is a Hindu festival, people of different regions have distinct ways of celebrating the same. Mostly, people observe fast for 8 days and conclude their fast on the ninth day by offering specially prepared bhog to the idol of Goddess Durga. Those who find difficulties in observing the fast recite mantras to please Devi Durga. Devotees generally avoid non-vegetarian food and consume ‘Satvik’ food such as fruits, curd, potatoes etc.

Navratri is one of the most widely celebrated occasions for Hindus across the globe. This festival not only fills the environment with joy and bliss but also marks the beginning of the festive season.

In many different states of India and also around the world, Navratri is celebrated with famous Garba Dance and Dandiya Raas Dance. It is mostly popular in India, some parts of UK, USA and Canada also. Everyone are traditionally dressed with colorful costumes, usually younger crowd.

Navratri Garba Dance

Navratri Garba Dance

Navratri Dandiya Raas

Navratri Dandiya Raas

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