Navratri is one of the most important festivals celebrated in India. It is a nine-day festival that is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga Maa. The festival is celebrated twice a year, once in the month of Chaitra (during the months of March & April in the English Calendar) and then in the month of Ashwin (during the months of September & October in the English Calendar). Navratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm & devotion across India, especially in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar & Maharashtra. Along with India, this festival is also celebrated across Nepal.
The word “Navratri” is derived from two Sanskrit words, “Nava” which means nine and “Ratri” which means night. Thus, Navratri literally means “Nine Nights!” The festival is celebrated for nine days and nights to honour the nine forms of the Hindu Goddess Durga. Each day of the festival is dedicated to a different form of Maa Durga and each of these nine days has their own significance, which is celebrated by the devotees!
The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga in her form as Shailputri, Brahmacharini, and Chandraghanta. The fourth, fifth, and sixth days are dedicated to the worship of the Goddess in her forms as Kushmanda, Skandamata, and Katyayani. The seventh and eighth days are dedicated to the worship of the Goddess in her forms as Kalaratri and Mahagauri. The ninth and final day is known as “Vijayadashami” or “Dussehra” and is celebrated by the Hindu devotees as the symbol of the victory of good over the evil.
The significance of Navratri is not just limited to the worship of the Goddess Durga, but it is also a celebration of the Changing Seasons. Navratri is celebrated during the two major seasonal changes in India, the beginning of spring and the beginning of winter. The festival is a celebration of the harvest season and is an opportunity for people to give thanks for the blessings of nature!
Navratri is also a time for people to come together and celebrate the festival with unity. The festival is marked by colorful decorations, traditional dance forms like Garba and Dandiya, and delicious pure vegetarian food items. People dress up in colorful traditional attire and participate in various cultural activities. It is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the joy and happiness of the festival together.
Also read: Ramnavmi: The Greatest Hindu Festival
Navratri is also significant from a Spiritual point of view. The festival is an opportunity for people to connect with their inner selves and with the divine. It is a time for people to reflect on their lives and make positive changes. It is believed that the Goddess Durga blesses her devotees during Navratri and fulfills their wishes!
In conclusion, Navratri is a significant festival in India that is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. It is a time for people to come together, celebrate, and give thanks for the blessings of nature. It is also an opportunity for people to connect with their inner selves and with the divine. The festival has a rich cultural and spiritual significance and is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).