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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Navratri - Nine Divine Nights

Navratri - Nine Divine Nights




Navratri festival is one of the significant festivals for Hindus, especially for Guajarati community. Navratri festival is celebrated for nine days during which nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Dandiya and Garba Raas are performing which is considered as one of the auspicious performances for worshipping Goddess Durga.


Navratri- a festival holds special significance for Hindus.
Navratri is formed of two Sanskrit words namely ‘Nav’ meaning nine and ‘Ratri’ meaning night; so literally it is a festival of nine nights. Goddess Shakti is worshipped in her nine different forms during these nine nights. It is essentially a Hindu festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world.  This festival is celebrated with great fervor and is dedicated to Mahisasura-Mardini or commonly known as Goddess Durga.


Significance of Navratri

For Hindus, this festival is of great importance. The beginning of spring and autumn are very sacred for Hindus as they denote climatic and solar influence, hence during this period Goddess Shakti- the ten armed goddess is worshipped. Navratri begins on the first day of bright fortnight of Hindu month Ashwin. During the festival of Navratri nine forms of Shakti are worshipped with dance and festivities which culminates on the tenth day; commonly known as Vijaydashmi or Dasshera.

 Goddess Durga is worshiped by different names and in different manner during these nine days. ‘Durga’ in Sanskrit means ‘remover of miseries’. Goddess Durga is the destroyer of evils so Navratri is the most auspicious time of the Hindu calendar. This festival holds much significance for Gujratis and Bengalis, with people indulging in festivities and dance. Hindus have the belief that by invoking Shakti, they are worshipping the energy behind the essence of this universe.

The first three days are dedicated to Durga and her incarnations such as Kumari, Parvati and Kali are worshipped. The second three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi; the bestower of wealth and prosperity. The last three days are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati; the bestower of knowledge.


Navratri Celebrations in India

Navratri is celebrated all over India but in different ways. In Northern India, it is celebrated by worshipping the Divine Mother and fasting on all the nine days. It culminates in Dusshera. Dusshera of Kulu is very famous in the North. Ramlila, depicting the life of Lord Rama is enacted during this time. In Gujarat, it is a major festival with Dandiya and Garba Raas being the main highlights. People of all castes and creed take part in Dandiya and Garba Raas with great enthusiasm.

 In West Bengal or East India, This festival is celebrated as Durga Puja and it is the biggest festival of the state. Life size clay idols of Goddess Durga depicting the slaying of demon Mahishasura is set up in Pandals and worshipped for five days along with idols of Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh and Lord Kartikeya.

In Tamil Nadu or South India, people display dolls and idols in steps known as Golu. In Kerala it is celebrated as Saraswati Puja.


Essence of Navratri

Navratri is a festival celebrated by observing fasts and prayers to Goddess Durga and it is a time of self introspection. On the eight or ninth day, kanya pujan is performed wherein the nine forms of Goddess Durga represented by nine young girls are worshipped. In order to honour the Goddess, feet of these nine young girls are washed.

These nine girls are then worshipped. Being the most auspicious time of the year, new ventures are started during this time. The spirit of this festival lies in the great devotion and Holy atmosphere. Be it Dandiya and Garba Raas of Gujarat or Durga Puja of West Bengal, people celebrate Navratri with great fervor, devotion and revelry with singing of devotional songs.

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Aruna.4 years ago
Nine divine nights are very auspicious. We play garba for nine nights as idol of godess durga is worshiped in our building.
 
 
 
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Vishalakshi.4 years ago
I used to fast during the nine days of navratri. I used to eat only fruits and milk products during all nine days of navratri. But now since last year have not been doing this fast as I have year old baby boy. From next year I will start again.
 
 
 
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Nilanjana.4 years ago
Fasting during navratri is very beneficial. All wishes come true if one fasts during navratri. all nine days of navratri are auspicious for starting new things.
 
 
 
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
How is Navratri celebrated in various parts of India? What is the significance of Dandiya and Garba performed during Navratri? Which are the nine forms of Goddess Durga?
Sakshi
One of the most beautiful thing about Navratri is Dandiya and Garba. I like to play Dandiya and Garba very much. In fact I wait for the whole year for this time of Navratri. It is one of the forms of ...
Pradnya
Navratri days are really divine. Even if you fast for the entire day only on fruits and milk you will not feel hungry at all. On the other hand you will feel energetic and empowered while fasting duri...
Jiya
Dear All, Please let me know how to fast during Navratri? What are the rules and regulations which should be observed while fasting for Navratri? Is it ok to drink tea or coffee while fasting during N...
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