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About Navratri Celebrations-Festival Information and Details

About NavaratriNavaratri is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. Navratri coincides with the end of the rainy season. It is a conjunction of two words “nava” (meaning “nine”) and “ratri” (meaning “night”), literally means “nine nights”. There are three main Navratri celebrations in India, Sharad Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Sharad season (September-October),it celebrates the slaying of demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga.

Navratri is a celebration of nine days where godess Durga,Lakshmi,Saraswati are worshiped for three days each. Vasant Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Vasant season (March- April), and is celebrated in North India, similarly Ashada Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Ashada season (July-August), in Himachal Pradesh.

Navratri is a celebration dedicated to all the goddesses and asking for their blessings in different aspects of a person’s life. This festival is a symbol of health and prosperity. Yagnas are performed to impress the deities and some people fast during the complete nine day ceremony while others fast only on the ninth day of the festival. Here the three goddesses are worshiped for power,and energy to fight over impurities in one’s life. Lakshmi is worshiped so that the one’s life is filled with spiritual and material wealth and the Hindu religion is one where in one performs pooja even for acquiring knowledge. On the ninth day, nine young unwed girls are taken in for performing Kanya pooja where the nine forms of the goddesses are worshiped.

Navratri is celebrated in different parts of India. In north India and west Bengal it is celebrated as “Durga Pooja”. Here the goddesses Durga fought with Mahishasure,the buffalo demon for nine days, beheading him on the tenth. The nine nights known as Navratri, symbolize the battle between Durga and Mahisasura, while the tenth day, which is vijayadashami-literally means the victorious tenth day of conquest of good over evil. It is also celebrated as the Victory of Rama over Ravana, another famous Hindu mythology known as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi which falls one day after Navratri. Dancing is an integral part of the celebrations and is celebrated excessively in Gujarat, and in some parts of Rajasthan. Both men and women dress up traditionally and dance enthusiastically throughout the night. This is known as Garbha and Dandiya-Rasa. Most people consider it the best time of the year to undertake or start new ventures.

By Farida H.B.


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