Navratri is the festival of 9 nights and 10 days that is celebrated every year in the month of autumn. It is celebrated in India in honour of Goddess Durga, wherein Goddess Durga got the victory by defeating buffalo demon “Mahishasur” to restore dharma.
The Navratri Celebration differs from state to state. In northeastern states, it is celebrated as Durga Puja whereas in western states as Ram Leela and the people of southern states celebrates the victory of different Goddesses.
This year Navratri will be celebrated from 16th to 25th October.
Significance of Navratri
Adorning the houses with lighting lamps and sowing the first crop of the spring season, people begin with their nine days celebration.
They prepare food (bhog) for nine forms of shakti (Goddess Durga) (as mentioned below):
Day 1 – Devi Sailaputri
The very first day is celebrated in the name of the ‘daughter of mountains’ that is Sailaputri Devi. As depicted, she has a crescent moon on her forehead and its a belief that she governs the moon.
Day 2 – Devi Brahmacharini
The next day i.e. the second day of Navratri festival is celebrated in the name of Devi Brahmacharini (the second form of Goddess Durga). Carrying Japa Mala in her right hand and Kmandalu in her left, she is known for signifying knowledge, love and wisdom.
Day 3 – Devi Chandraghanta
The third form of Goddess Durga is Devi Chandraghanta depicted as ten hands and a semi-circle moon (Chandra) on her forehead. It is believed that this moon derives all types of negative energies away from devotees. Devi Chandraghanta signifies courage (always ready for war against devils).
Day 4 – Devi Kushmanda
She is known to be the fourth form of Goddess Durga. ‘Ku’ stands for ‘Little’, ‘Ushma’ for ‘Energy’ and ‘Anda’ is the Sanskrit version of the word ‘Bhramand’ (Universe). Devi Kushmanda signifies Warmth and Energy.
Day 5 – Devi Skandamata
Being the fifth form of Goddess Durga, Devi Skandamata is also worshipped as Goddess of Fire to achieve power and prosperity.
Day 6 – Devi Katyayani
Worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri festival, Devi Katyayni is known for her Anger and Victory over Demons. It’s a belief that worshipping the sixth form of Goddess Durga with a pure heart keeps you away from troubles.
Day 7 – Devi Kaalratri
People worship the seventh form of Goddess Durga as Devi Kaalrarti to protect themselves from evil spirits and negative energy. Kaalratri is depicted with a sword in hand and a deadly iron hook signifying the night of death.
Day 8 – Devi Mahagauri
Known for forgiveness, cleanliness and purity, the eighth form of Goddess Durga is named Devi Mahagauri because of her extremely fair complexion. It’s believed that she fulfils all your wants and desires if worshipped with a pure heart.
Day 9 – Devi Siddhidhatri
A day before Dussehra festival, the ninth form of Goddess Durga is worshipped as Devi Siddhidharti. It’s believed that she represents supernatural powers.
What makes Navratri a Fun Festival?
These 9 Days of Maa Durga is the symbol of power that makes us feel the aura and divineness within us. This festival is full of fun and traditions that make it a mixture of varied cultures.
Here are things that make Navratri a fun festival:
1) Food Festival for Nine Days
Navratri gives us a chance to hop on those mouth-watering pure vegetarian dishes made in restaurants for regular Nine Days. And we feel amazed at such kind of creativity in food. You’ll always see numerous kinds of special food varieties in the menu card of almost every restaurant during the Navratri Festival.
2) The Garba Nights
Nonstop Desi Style Party for nine days is the most exciting thing about this festival. People love to groove on the Dandiya music booming up from speakers for the whole night.
3) The Festive Shopping
We all need just an excuse to go shopping and this festival gives us a strong one for the same. From all the spiritual essentials, home decor items to the ethnic clothes like Chaniya Choli are acquired to rock this festival.
4) The Kanjak Pooja
Kanjak Pooja is one of the most special days in these nine days celebration where the little girls are worshipped in the form of Goddesses. A lot of tasty food is cooked on the last Navratri before Dussehra Festival.
5) Divine Environment
These Nine Days Celebration keeps the mind in a peaceful state. It adds the colour of happiness to everyone’s life making a divine environment at their home.
This Nine-Days Navratri Festival enlightens us about women’s power, and to fall in love with the traditional and religious belief.