Navratri is a nine-day festival celebrated by Hindus around the world to honor and worship the divine feminine or the goddess Durga. The word “Navratri” is derived from two Sanskrit words “Nava” meaning nine and “Ratri” meaning night. It collectively means “nine nights.” It is celebrated twice a year – in the Hindu calendar months of Chaitra (March or April) and Ashwin (September or October).
According to Hindu mythology, the festival of Navratri celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is believed that during this time, goddess Durga, also known as the universal mother, defeated the demon king Mahishasura after nine days of intense battle. The festival is also celebrated in honor of the goddess’s other forms, including Kali, Amba, Bhavani, and Jagadamba.
The festival of Navratri is celebrated in different ways across India, with different regions having their own unique customs and traditions. However, the essence of the festival remains the same, which is the worship of the goddess and the celebration of the victory of good over evil.
In some parts of India, Navratri is celebrated by performing Garba and Dandiya. These are the traditional folk dances that involve circular movements and the use of sticks. Moreover, these dances are performed in honor of the goddess and are accompanied by traditional music and songs.
How people celebrate Navratri?
During Navratri, many devotees observe fasts and offer prayers to the goddess. They refrain from consuming alcohol, non-vegetarian food, and other worldly pleasures during this time. It is believed that by observing these fasts, devotees can purify their mind, body, and soul and achieve spiritual enlightenment.
On the eighth day of Navratri, also known as Ashtami, devotees perform Kanya Puja, where young girls are worshiped as manifestations of the goddess. They are offered food and gifts and are considered to be a symbol of purity and divinity.
The tenth day of Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, is considered to be a very auspicious day. It is believed that on this day, the goddess Durga defeated the demon king Mahishasura. Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana, as depicted in the epic Ramayana. Also, this day marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor across India.
In conclusion, Navratri is a significant Hindu festival celebrated to honor and worship the divine feminine or the goddess Durga. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and is celebrated with different customs and traditions across India. However, it is a time of spiritual reflection, purification, and enlightenment, and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by Hindus around the world.