Navaratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights and is celebrated every year in the autumn. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during this month, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October.
About Navaratri in brief
Navaratri is a Hindu festival that spans nine nights and is celebrated every year in the autumn. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian cultural sphere. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during this month, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. Hindu devotees celebrate Navratri by fasting. But, fasting is not the correct way to please Maa Durga during Navrati. For example, a notable pan-Hindu tradition is the adoration of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, music, and arts through Ayudha Puja. On this day, which falls on the ninth day of Navratri after the Good won over Evil, peace and knowledge is celebrated through Durga or Rama, peace is celebrated, and all sorts of trades are similarly decorated and worshiped. The festivities extend beyond goddess Durga and god Rama. Various other goddesses such as Lakshmi, such as Ganesha, Kartikeya, Shiva, and Krishna are regionally revered. On the final day, called the Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil’s destruction. The exact dates of the festival are determined according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, and sometimes the festival may be held for a day more or a day less depending on the adjustments for sun and moon movements and the leap year.
The celebrations vary by region, leaving much to the creativity and preferences of the Hindu. The other two Navratris are observed regionally or by individuals: The Sharada Navarati commences on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvini and the Vasanta Navrati near spring equinox is the next most significant to the culture of theIndian subcontinent. The common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legend such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays, Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the VijyadashAMI or DUSsehra or Dashain. The last day of the Navratis is the Navrattis is known as the Durga Puja or Durga Durga Day. In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or SarasWati is celebrated. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, Durga is synonymous with Navarri, wherein Goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon Mahishasur to help restore Dharma. In all cases, Navarritis fall in the bright half of the Hindi calendar month Ashvin.