Navratri – Nine Nights – Festival of India!
There’s so much beyond Holi and Diwali festivals in India. Have you visited India during the nine-day-long festival called ‘Navratri’?
Navratri is a Hindu festival which is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent where goddess Durga is worshipped in its nine different forms. This festival occurs four different times in a year in India.
Though there are four different kinds of Navratris witnessed during the year, the one which is most celebrated is the ‘Sharad Navratri’, which comes in the post-monsoon season in September or October. The celebration is done over a period of 9 days.
Navratri in the North and Northeast India is also called as the ‘Durga Puja’. Durga Puja is a synonym for the victory of good over evil, as this is the celebration of the victory of Goddess Durga post her killing the demon ‘Mahishasura‘. This victory is recited during the nine days. One can hear it in the chanting of ancient scriptures during the festival and also in the form of drama, dance, theatre, and music. Families visit together to celebrate this festival.
If one plan to travel India during the Navratri time, one can attend various cultural events and festivities. I prefer attending it from day one to day nine. You can read more in my Blog on how from day one the festivities begin as Idol are made and placed in the Pandals.
Blog Link – Ten Pictures of Idol making in Durga Puja
The Celebration with dances
There is a special form of dance called as ‘Dandiya’ Dance or stick dance organized at various places during this festival. One can buy the sticks and traditional dresses easily online as well as available on the local markets.
Other dance forms are ‘Garba’ and in North Eastern State or West Bengal is yet another form of ‘Dhanuchi’ dance.
Here is one such video clip from the event I attended recently in Delhi.
The Vijaya Dashami is the 10th day of Durga Puja. This is the day when the idol is submerged in the water. So all the ten days one can witness amazing different celebrations.
MORE ABOUT NAVRATRI
There are four kinds of Navratri celebrated in India.
This Navratri falls in September to October post-monsoon season, ending with Dussehra or the tenth day called as ‘Bijoya Dashami’.
Chaitra / Vasanta Navaratri
This is the second most celebrated Navratri. This comes after the winter season, in the month of March or April and ends with the ‘Ram Navami’ or the worshipping of God ‘Rama’
A minor forms of Navratri which are observed by a few categories of the Indian subcontinent. This is celebrated in the month of January or winter season.
Celebrated from June to July month during the monsoon season.
The Hindu calendar determines the exact date of the Navratri but month mostly remains the same.
Fasting in Navratri is observed by many Indians. Fasting is about abstaining from whole wheat grains and regular meals, however, one can have tea coffee potato and special flour called as ‘Kuttu’.
Fasting comes with various rules and one need to follow proper procedure while on the fast. But, that does not mean one can not enjoy various delicacies. Here is my blog on nine different kinds of food I tried recently in Navratri. Though one can try many more.
Blog Link – Nine Street Food we tried during Navratri
Nine Days Ritual
Devi Durga of the Goddess Durga represents the feminine energy and the divine power.
Each day of the nine days has a specified color associated with it, where different forms of Goddesses are worshipped. Each Goddess on these days is considered as a different form of Goddess Durga.
Day One (Red) – Worshipping of ‘Shailputri’
Day Two (Royal Blue) – Worshipping of ‘Brahmacharini ‘
Day Three (Yellow) – Worshipping of ‘Chandraghanta ‘
Day Four (Green) – Worshipping of ‘Kushmunda ‘
Day Five (Grey) – Worshipping of ‘Skandmata’
Day Six (Orange) – Worshipping of ‘Katyayini ‘
Day Seven (White) – Worshipping of ‘Kalratri’
Day Eight (Pink) – Worshipping of ‘Maha Gauri’
Day Nine (Skyblue) – Worshipping of ‘Siddhatri ‘
Right from trying various special fasting food called as the ‘Navratri Food’ to attending the daily functions this festival has a lot to offer.
So if you plan your travel to India during the Navratris especially during the season of the Sharad Navratri, you are up for some great celebration to attend to.
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