Why Is Navratri Celebrated for 9 days in Hindu? :- Navratri is one of the most auspicious festivals that is celebrated by Hindus around the world. It is the festival that falls during autumn every year and is celebrated for consecutive nine nights.
The festival is primarily celebrated in the honour of one of the Goddess of Hindus, Goddess Durga. Apart from that, this festival is the festival of dance, devotion, color, zest and prayer. This multifaceted significances of this festival make it one of the immensely popular festivals among the Hindus all around the world.
Navratri is celebrated in different ways. People from other parts of countries celebrate this festival in different ways. Nevertheless, this festival is celebrated by Hindus of Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Srilanka and around the world. But, what makes this festival so importance?
Why is this festival celebrated for 9 consecutive nights? In this article, we will explain the reasons why Navratri is celebrated. Below are a few of the reasons why Navratri is celebrated each year with equal zeal and happiness.
Navaratri is an auspicious occasion. It is a festival of love, happiness, brotherhood, devotion to the Goddess and family, all culminating on Navaratri’s occasion.
In various parts of India and Nepal, Navratri is synonymous with Dussehra. While in the western and northern parts of India, this festival is also called the Rama Lila or. No matter how the festival is celebrated, this festival is celebrated with the common theme of “victory of good over the evil.”
For the Navaratri celebrations, the family does not eat or drink anything before noon. The family would respect the dead person by uniquely decorating their house.
Navratri is one of the oldest and most popular Hindu festivals. It is celebrated with great gusto in every corner of the world. Every home, every office, and every temple are decorated with garlands, candles, sweets, flowers, and other items that symbolize the festival’s happiness.
What is Navratri
Navratri is one of the many festivals that is celebrated auspiciously by Hindus all around the world. Every year during the autumn, this festival is celebrated that last 9 nights. It is celebrated for various reasons and is celebrated with different practices in various parts of Hindu nations.
This festival is observed or celebrated in honor of the Hindu Goddess, Durga. It falls typically in the month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar or in September/October as per the Gregorian calendar.
Navaratri’s tradition starts with the casting of lots among the family members and then chooses to be cremated and another who has to be given a gift.
Every year during October, Indian and foreign tourists flock to India to spend the nine days of Navratri. The festival celebrates the Durga Puja, Navratri and is the most important festival in India.
As per the mythology of Hindus, Goddess Durga is the mother Goddess of the world. She is also the consort of Lord Vishnu, Mahadev and Brahma Lord of all creation.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated before Dashain?
The nine days of Navratri are a particular time of worship dedicated to Goddess Durga. This is the only day of the entire month when the devotees of Goddess Durga worship her.
The nine days of Navratri are divided into two parts. On the first part, Lord Durga is worshipped at her temple. At that time, one can also pay homage to Goddess Durga by lighting up the lights inside and outside her temple and reciting mantras. The second day, on which the festival is celebrated, Durga is welcomed in India’s nook and corner.
Another part for celebrating the festival is to welcome Durga’s consorts and guardians. All these reasons make Navratri a very special celebration in India and Nepal.
One must also remember that this is a festival to celebrate the goddess and pray to her for good health and prosperity. A single wish from the goddess is enough to give you peace and happiness forever.
There is no better way to mark the occasion than to celebrate the day with full zeal and enthusiasm. Here are some of the things that you can do on this special day.
Navratri is a Hindi festival that lasts nine days and is celebrated each year in the mid of September. It is celebrated for different reasons and observed differently in different parts of the Indian social sphere.
According to the traditional interpretation, it is a festival of joy, love, and fertility. In contrast, others say that it is the festival of Goddess Durga who enters into devotee’s house, the goddess of love.
According to the traditional interpretation, there are four seasons of Navratri, namely the auspicious time, the auspicious place, the auspicious person, and the most auspicious time.
All these periods of Navratri have a special significance for Hindus and are known as the Vrittis. Nine days of the Navratri are also associated with nine Goddesses.
In this season, the Navratri festival becomes very important. Many people in this region make arrangements for a party and celebrate Navratri’s day with great enthusiasm.
These people are responsible for maintaining the balance of nature by means of their daily rituals. They are also responsible for carrying out their spiritual duties in society.
Brahma is considered the creator of all things, and he is also considered the founder of the universe.
One of the main features of Navratri is the worship of Goddess Durga and her nine form Avatar. She is considered to be the one and only creator of this world.
She is also the most popular deity among Hindus and one of the most respected gods. It is believed that if Goddess Durga is worshiped with appropriate rituals, one can get good luck and prosperity in everyday life.
Navratri festival is a traditional Hindu festival which lasts for nine days and is celebrated on the ninth day of September in most countries in India and Nepal. It is also known as Navrata Festival, and Navratri is celebrated for different reasons.
In most countries, Navratri is celebrated for various reasons. It can be celebrated as a festival for the Goddess Durga return to her eternal home and as a festival for sending wishes for the coming of prosperity in life. In some places, it is also known as the Navratri Puja, and a lot of sweets are prepared for the guests.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated in India?
For this reason, it is necessary to plan a trip to India before the festival.
Navratri in India is unique. On the first night of this festival, the streets in most of the places get decorated with bright red colors. There are different Navratri fairs and festivals that occur along with the entire country, and several people celebrate Navratri.
In India and Nepal, you will find several festivals going on all at the same time. Several people from different communities come together for Navratri celebrations. At this point, everyone celebrates and gives prayers for good luck in life.
In most places, Navratri is a big gathering which takes place in a big venue. There are tents set up everywhere, as well as a lot of people. To ensure that everyone is safe and have a happy experience, the festival is celebrated in a large hall-like structure where the children and women play games and dance around.
If you plan to go to a Navratri festival in India, it is necessary to book a room in advance. As most of the places of celebration are open to the public, you can walk down and taste the festivities. If you want to enjoy your stay there, you should plan a visit to ensure that you are comfortable.
Navratri is a beautiful festival, but it is also very special and unique. You can celebrate it as it comes every year with your family and friends.
The importance of each day of Navratri [ Why Is Navratri Celebrated? ]
The celebration is related to the conspicuous fight between the Hindu Goddess Durga and devil Mahishasura where Goddess Durga acclaimed Good over Evil’s triumph.
The nine days are exclusively dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars – the Navadurga. Each day is associated with the different manifestations of the Goddess Durga.
Day 1 – Shailaputri
Also Known as Pratipada, the Navratri’s First Day is related to Shailaputri (“Girl of The Mountain”). Shilaputri represents a manifestation of Goddess Parvati. Also, the incarnation of Parvati, the Goddess Shailputri, is revered as the associate of Shiva.
She is portrayed riding the bull, with a trishula and lotus in her right and left hand, respectively. Shailaputri is also viewed as the immediate incarnation of the Goddess Mahakali. The shade of the Day is red, which delineates activity and energy.
Day 2 – Brahmacharini
On Dwitiya, Goddess Brahmacharini, another manifestation of Parvati, is revered. In this structure, Parvati became Sati, her unmarried self. Brahmacharini is adored for liberation or moksha and gift of harmony and flourishing.
Delineated as strolling uncovered feet and grasping a japamala and kamandal, she represents euphoria and quiet. This Day is represented by Blue Color, which delineates peacefulness yet vitality.
Day 3 – Chandraghanta
Tritiya remembers the love of Chandraghanta – the name got from the way that after the wedding Shiva, Parvati embellished her brow with the Ardha Chandra (lit. half-moon). She is the epitome of magnificence and is additionally representative of courage. Yellow is the shade of the third Day.
Day 4 – Kushmanda
Goddess Kushmanda is worshiped on Chaturthi. Accepted to be the inventive intensity of the universe, Kushmanda related to the enrichment of vegetation on earth, and thus, the shade of the Day is Green. Her Goddess is portrayed with eight arms that sit on a Tiger.
Day 5 – Skandamata
Skandamata, the Goddess honored on Panchami, is the mother of Skanda (or Kartikeya). Gray’s shade is representative of the changing traits of a mother when her child is at risk. She is portrayed riding a fierce lion, having four arms, and holding her child.
Day 6 – Katyayani
Destined to sage Katyayana, she is a manifestation of Durga, and it appeared to show fearlessness, which is represented by the shading Orange. Known as the warrior goddess, she is viewed as one of the most vicious types of Devi. In this form, Kātyāyanī is shown to have four hands and rides a lion. She is an incarnation of Goddess Maha Lakshmi
Day 7 – Kalaratri
Thought about the most savage type of Goddess Durga, Kalaratri is venerated on Saptami. It is accepted that Parvati eliminated her light complexion to murder the devils Sumbha and Nisumbha. The shade of the Day is White.
On Saptami, the Goddess shows up in a white shading clothing with a great deal of fury in her red hot eyes; her skin turns dark. The white shading depicts petition and harmony and guarantees the fans that the Goddess will shield them from hurt.
Day 8 – Mahagauri
Mahagauri represents knowledge and harmony. The shading related to this Day is Pink, which delineates positive thinking.
Day 9 – Sidhidatri
On the last day celebration, otherwise called Navami, individuals implore Siddhidhatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is accepted to have and offers a wide range of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Otherwise called Sri Lakshmi Devi. The light blue shade of the Day depicts profound respect towards nature’s excellence.
Each Day of the Navratri has importance and historical or cultural significance of its own. While all days are celebrated as the symbol of victory of good over the evil, each Day is named differently due to different manifestations of Goddess Durga.
How is Navratri Celebrated?
Navaratri is celebrated by Hindus all around the world. However, the celebration practices may vary from country to country or even community to community. The celebration process of Navratri indicates diversity.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated in Nepal?
Though all celebrations are directed to worshiping Goddess Durga on the backdrop of the triumph of good over evil, the practice varies. Here, let’s look into various ways of celebrating this festival across India, Nepal, and other Hindi Countries.
India is one of the South Asian countries with the dominance of Hindi people. All Hindus all over India do celebrate the Navratri, but the practices may differ.
In the Northern part of India, Navratri is auspiciously celebrated as the triumph of Lord Rama over the Kind Ravana. As the symbol of victory of good over evil, the effigies of Kumbakarna, Ravana is burnt. During the entire nine days, the celebrations are filled with singing, dancing, conducting pujas, fasting, in honor of the Goddess.
In the western part of the country, the festival is celebrated by performing a famous Garba & Dandiya dance. Graba is one of the beautiful dances where all women dance, making a circle around the pot consisting of a lamp. Since Garba Means Womb, this lamp in the pod set in the middle is considered the womb and dances around the light, symbolically addresses the mother’s importance.
Apart from Garba, there is yet another dance performed to celebrate Navratri in the western part of India, Dandiya Dance. In this dance, the women and men all dance in pairs with “Dandiya” in their hands.
Dandiya is the bamboo sticks, and men and women strike each other’s sticks during the dance session. Though the rhythm is complex, the dancing pair make it look wonderful and elegant. Every dance’s traditional dress makes this dance even beautiful and gives the classic feel to it.
When we talk about diversity in celebrations, Navratri’s celebration in the south Indian parts is different. Here, during Navratri, families invite their relatives and friends to visit the Kolu, which is nothing but an exhibition of various figurines and dolls.
In the southern part of India, specifically in Kerala, the last 3 days of Navratri, Asthami, Navami, and Dashami are celebrated with the worshipping of Goddess Saraswati.
Since Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge, the books are included in the Puja in the houses or temples. On the tenth Day, Dashami Day, the books are taken out and read after worshipping goddess Saraswati.
This Day, Vijaya Dashami, is considered an auspicious day for indulging children into reading and writing. This Day is also called Vidyarambham. Vidrayrambham includes two words; Vidya means knowledge, and Arambham means initiating.
So, this Day means initiating the reading and writing process. On this Day, the baby sits on the lap of an older person, and the older person makes the child write for the first time.
Read Also: Why Navratri is celebrated twice in a year?
This unique Day is very popular and has also inspired Christians. Christian churches have a similar ritual where children and indulged in reading and writing for the first time.
In north-eastern and West Bengal parts of India, Durga Puga is conducted during the Navratri. During these days, goddess Durga is portrayed handling various weapons in hands while riding on a lion.
It is believed that Lion on which the goddess rides signifies the will power, while the weapons on goddesses’ hands illustrate the focus needed to destroy the evil in the minds.
On the 8th Day, Goddess’s well-crafted life-size clay statues are made and placed in various temples or public places. These idols are worshipped for five consecutive days, and on the fifth day, it is immersed in the holy river.
During Durga Puja, besides Goddess Durga, other deities like Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha, Kartikeya are also revered. In terms of Bengali tradition, all these deities are considered children of Goddess Durga, and hence Durga puja is believed to honor Durga’s visit to her birth home with her children.
Mahalaya usually precedes Durga puja. Mahalaya marks the start of the goddesses’ journey to her home. However, the important ceremony begins on the sixth Day only when Goddess is welcomed at home with various rituals. This festival usually ends on the final Day (10th Day), also called Vijaya Dashami, when Durga’s idols are submerged in the holy river.
Durga puja is one of the ancient traditions that is being followed by the Hindus. However, it is not certain as to when the tradition started.
The manuscripts from the fourteenth century do provide guidelines for conducting Durga Puja, which suggests that Durga puja is being performed at least since the 14th century. Over the years, this festival has become an important part of the Indian or Nepali culture.
Decoration in Durga Puja.
Decorations are an important part of the Durga Puja. In every community, home, or temples, the goddess Durga’s life-size sculpture is a place for the Puja. The process of creation of Durga’s Idol is observed months before the actual Durga puja starts. The process begins with the prayers of Ganesha.
For the creation of idols, clay is collected from different areas for the forming base. Clays from other regions are collected as it is believed that the Goddess Durga is present everywhere.
This clay base is then mixed with straw and then molded into a bamboo and hay case. This is then layered to final shape, painted and polished. Finally, the artists start to paint the idol, dressed in clothes and displayed in the puja place.
During the period of Durga Puja, the life size, fully decorated sculpture or idol of Goddess Durga is displayed in Puja alters, where many people come together for the Puja. In recent days, various types of musical activities are performed in India during Durga Puja. Even celebrities are seen performing the Puja while engaging themselves in singing and dancing.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated at night?
Durga Puja is seen as one festival where people can rejuvenate themselves with their friends and families. All the activities performed during this 10-day long celebration are directed towards honoring the good over evil.
Animal Sacrifice during Navratri
Animal sacrifice is observed in various parts of India and Nepal during the Navratri celebration. Particularly, during Durga Puja, the Devi Durga is offered a sacrificial animal in the belief that it ignites her violent revenge against the Demon.
Though it is not practiced in India’s various parts, animal sacrifice is of utmost importance in Nepal, Assam, West Bengal. The sacrifice is performed at temples to remember the legends of Durga over the devil Mahishasura. Animals like goat, male buffalo and even fowl are sacrificed.
No matter how the 9 day long festival is celebrated, the essence of the celebration is “Victory of Good over the Evil.” These days, the festivities are all directed to allow us to reconnect with something bigger, and the rituals will enable us to do so.
Forgetting the hassle of life, the Navratri will enable us to rejuvenate ourselves and connect with our loved ones.
Navratri celebration amid Covid-19 Pandemic
Navratri, undoubtedly, one of the most important festivals celebrated for centuries, has immense importance to Hindus all around the world. However, this year’s Navratri celebration is expected to get impacted due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Covid-19 cases in India are all time high, and the Pandemic is expected to continue for an unforeseeable future as well, considering the unavailability of vaccines at the time. Similar is the case with Nepal and other Hindu nations where the Covid-19 cases are increasing Day by Day.
In such a condition, various measures are to be adopted by the people and the Government. Hence, celebrating the festival while not allowing the further spread of the virus in the community.
Navratri of this year is around the corner. People have been looking forward to celebrating this festival with equal enthusiasm as in previous years. However, considering the Pandemic situation, is it possible to celebrate this festival like before?
Well, few people might not opt for celebrating this festival considering the pandemic situation. On the other hand, there are very religious people worldwide who are against not following the tradition.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated for 9 days?
In this case, various measures should be taken, and the festival should be kept intact. In this article, we will provide you with few ways to celebrate Navratri during this Pandemic.
- Discourage crowding: During the Pandemic, all the authorities must make guidelines to discourage unnecessary crowing during the Navratri. Yes, Navratri is the celebration where many people come together for the Puja or dance as per the respective culture, but this year’s condition is not the same as it used to be in previous years. This year, the crowding must be discouraged. This cannot be done by the government authorities only. While authorities must make proper guidelines to regulate or discourage crowds, the devotees must be very cautious not to join any crowd around the community for the celebrations. This way, the celebrations can be proper without hurting the devotee’s feelings towards the centuries old festival.
- Regulate the market: It is an ancient practice to buy gifts, new clothes, or puja materials during the Navratri. Few communities have the practice of giving gifts to their relatives or friends during the Navratri. This might lead to unnecessary crowing at the market place, leading to a further increase in Covid-19 cases. Hence, government authorities must regulate the market place. In Nepal, there is the regulation of opening the shops on alternate days where if clothes shops are opened, other ships for gifts are closed. Similar regulations during the Navratri could help to minimize the flow of people in the market at the same time.
- Reducing the number idols for Durga Puja: One of the important aspects of Navratri is Durga Puja. During Durga Puja, various pandals are made in the community where people flock in and celebrate the Durga Puja and the community. This year, due to the Pandemic, the number of Pandals must be minimized and well regulated. If possible or culture allows, people should place the idol of Durga in their home. If not, very few pandals should be made in the community to restrict the inflow of people.
- Restricting the number of pandal visitors: Along with reducing the number of pandals, the number of people visiting the pandals should be restricted. There should be proper guidelines on the number of people allowed to visit the pandals at the given time, depending upon the space available to maintain social distancing. This can certainly help people enjoy Puja while also maintaining physical distancing.
- Restricting food stalls around the puja venue: One of the various ways to reduce the unnecessary crowd of people should be by limiting food stalls around the puja venue. This could help people head home after the Puja and not wander around the venue for food. Similarly, in various places during Durga Puja, different types of rides are placed for entertainment purposes. This year, this has to be stopped as it has no link to the festival’s primary goal. The unnecessary crowd can be stopped due to restricting food stalls and entertainment activities around the puja venue.
- Be extra cautious on self-care: Covid-19 can infect everyone. From a newborn baby to older people, all are at equal risk of getting infected by the virus. So, first and foremost, everyone needs to be very careful during the festival. Everyone’s priority should be on self-care at all times. Make sure you wear masks at all times when you are outside of your house and keep a bottle of sanitizer with you. Use the sanitizer to sanitize your hands every time you touch anything. Self-care and remain cautious at all times is the best option not to get infected.
- Learning to enjoy at home: Finally, no matter what, people should learn to enjoy the festival at home with minimal people around. Cook food, conduct Puja at home and enjoy the celebration with your family. This is the only way you can enjoy the festival while not keeping yourself and your family at risk. If you wish, this Navratri, you can help others as well. Due to Pandemic, thousands of people have lost their jobs and are jobless. You can help the poor people by feeding them during the festival.
This way, amid the Covid-19 Pandemic as well, you can enjoy the festival while keeping yourself and your family safe. Always remember, safety comes first. No festival is important than life.
Read Also: Why is Navratri celebrated before Dussehra?
To keep the tradition alive, the festivals have to be celebrated. The celebration needs to be well regulated so that people are not at risk of getting infected by the virus.
So, if you are looking forward to celebrating this year’s Navratri, make sure you plan way. Don’t rush for shipping. Instead, keep getting things you need for the festival from today onwards to avoid unnecessary gatherings during the festival itself. If everyone does the same, it is sure that the festival won’t be the reason for the rise in cases of Covid-19.
8 Reasons Why is Navratri celebrated for 9 days
- To honor the triumph of good over evil
Navratri is the celebrations of the motto “Good over Evil|”. It is related to the fight between the Hindu Goddess Durga and the evil Mahishasura where Durga claimed the victory over devil Mahishasura.
The nine nights of each day of Navratri is exclusively dedicated to Druga and her different avatars. Throughout the festival, various avatars of Goddess Durga is worshipped, and each night is equally important in terms of religious rituals.
The first day of the Navratri y is called Pratipada. On this day, Goddess Parvati is worshipped, who is also one of the avatars of Goddess Durga. Parvati is seed as the incarnation of Mahakali.
The colour red denotes this day. The second day of the Navratri is called Brahmacharini. On this day, yet another manifestation of Goddess Parvati, Goddess Brahmacharini s worshipped. Represented by Color Blue, this day delineates vitality finally peacefulness. Tritiya, also the third day of the Navratri is called Chandraghanta.
Similarly, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh eighth and ninth days are called Khusmandu, Skandamata Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. Every day of the Navratri is equally important for those who take this festival seriously. However, the major motto of the celebrations is to remind that the good always triumphs over the evil.
This festival is believed to have started with the victory of goddess Durga over the face changing devil Mahisasura. It is celebrated every year by the Hindus all around the world to commemorate the triumph of the goddess over the evil Mahisasura.
One of the many reasons why Navratri is celebrated is definitely to remember that the good always wins over the evil. This festival evokes everyone to do well rather than evil activities as good things will eventually win over the bad. This festival is intended to teach everyone always to have a positive outlook on everything.
- To welcome Goddess Durga.
While Navratri is celebrated as the symbol of victory of good over evil, it is celebrated by conducting the Puja of Goddess Durga. One of the ways the puja is done is through the Durga Puja that is conducted in different parts and by other community.
Also called Durgatsova, Durga Puja is also synonymous to Navratri in different parts of India and Nepal though it is believed to have initiated in the Indian states. During this festival, people welcome goddess Durga at their homes and respects and pay offerings to Maa Durga.
Significantly, the Indian States of Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura see immense celebrations of this festival. Likewise, this festival is famous in Nepal as where Durga Puja/Navratri is synonymously named as Dashain.
During Navratri, Durga Puja is performed and is welcomed at homes and public places too. In the community, different prayers pandals are created where the well decorated statues of Goddess Durga is demonstrated for everyone to offer their prayers.
These pandals conduct overnight puja and other rituals in honour of goddess Durga. Apart from that, many families hold the Durga Puja at home as the symbol of welcoming goddess Durga at home too. At home, families feature mini statues of Maa Durga, and the prayers are offered during the period of Navratri.
As per Hindu Mythology, Goddess Durga is one of the important goddesses with lots of different manifestations. People believe that Maa Durga’s blessings are very important for living, and hence, the goddess is welcomed by different pujas at home and public places during the Navratri.
The Priests perform various types of ancient rituals in hone of Maa Durga and her continuous blessings over the world.
- To conduct Durga Puja
Durga Puja is yet another significant activity performed during the Navratri. In different Indian States, Nepal and Bangladesh, Durga Puja is conducted for 10 days in an attempt to honour Goddess Durga. Durga Puja usually starts with the Mahalaya when the Hindus offer water and food to their deceased ancestors.
Though each day of Durga Puja is considered important, the major celebrations are conducted on the sixth day. On the sixth day, the devotees welcome Goddess Durga, and with this, the significant festivities start. Following 6th day, 7th, 8th and 9th day’s rituals are performed. On these days, Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati, and Ganesh and Kartikeya are worshipped alongside Maa Durga.
During the Durga Puja, various rituals are performed. The rituals are called as Bodhana, Adivasi, Navpatrika Snan, Asthami Puspanjali, Homa, and Sindoor Khela. All these days are equally important, and different types of rituals are performed on these days by the priests.
The final day, day 10th is the most important of all days. On this day, also called Vijaya Dashami, women slur vermillion on each other and the idols of Goddess Durga. This day is also called Sindoor Khela, and the ritual of smearing vermillion on women signifies the desire of a happy married life.
One of the most important aspects of Durga Puja is the installation of life size idols of Maa Durga in different pandals in the community. Months before the start of Durga Puja, people start making the idol of Goddess Durga. The well decorated status is then installed in different pandals where the celebrations are conducted.
These idols are worshipped during the entire Durga Puja and are submersed on the Holy Water on the tenth days, i.e. Vijaya Dashami. With this ritual, the Durga Puja comes to an end. During these celebrations, people enjoy with each other.
- Festival of Dance
Navratri is also the festival of dance. Various types of dances are conducted during the celebrations. Garba is one of the forms of dance that is believed to have originated in the State of Gujarat in India is performed during the nine day celebrations.
The word Garba is a Sanskrit word that means Womb. This form of dance is usually performed around the lantern made up of clay. This lantern includes a light inside it which is called as Garbha Deep (Womb Lamp). The lantern represents life, while the lamp inside represents the Fetus in the Womb. Hence, this form of dances implies life and pregnancy in particular.
Garbha, the dance dedicated to the Goddess Durga, is performed around the lantern in a circle. The dancers revolve around in circle since as per Hinduism, time is cyclical. With the process of time, human passes through birth, life, death and again rebirth.
The only thing that is believed to be constant is the Goddess Durga and her manifestation. Maa Durga is regarded as the constant symbol during the infinite movement of humans.
The garbha Deep or the light inside the lantern has yet another interpretation. The lantern can be taken as the symbol of the human body within whom the goddess resides.
This dance is performed around this symbol in an honour that human has Devi (Divine every) inside them. This unique interpretation of Garbha Dance has been appreciated worldwide.
During the dance, both men and women wear colourful traditional costumes. The women and young girls wear Chaniya Choli. Chaniya Choli is a three piece dress that includes choli (Colorful embroidered blouse), Chaniya (Skirt like bottom) and a dupatta.
This traditional dress is well decorated with shells, stars, small mirrors and other embroidery works. Along with this beautiful traditional dress, women or girls adorn themselves with beautiful necklaces, earrings, payals, kangans and many more. On the other hand, men and boys year kafni pyjamas with a kurta. The dress is complete with the pagadi on the head.
Over the years, the interest of Gujrati people on the garbha dance has increased tremendously. The Gujarati diaspora is immensely attracted to this dance. In the USA, Canada and other countries are having Indian people organize large scale Garba Dance competition during Navratri.
Dandiya Rass or Raas is yet another folk dance that is performed during the Navaratri. . In this dance, a couple of man and woman dance in pair with a bamboo stick “Dandiya” in their hands.
While dancing, men and women strike each other’s Dandia in a specific pattern. Though the pace is intricate, the dancing couple makes it look beautiful and flawless. During the dancing session, the couple wears a beautiful traditional dress with lots of embroideries works in it.
In modern days, people are very much attracted to performing dancing (Dandiya and Garba) during the Navratri period. Different programs are conducted where people from every race or background come together for the dancing sessions. This makes Navratri one of the most important festivals in terms of social gathering.
- Exchanging gifts
Different communities have the practice of exchanging gifts during the Navratri. People often give gifts to their friends and families out of love and respect. Small children are given new clothes to wear on the last day of the Navratri, also called Vijaya Dashami.
- Animal sacrifice
Animal sacrifice is witnessed in various areas of India as well as in Nepal during Navratri. Mainly, during Durga Puja, Maa Durga is offered sacrificed animal in the conviction that it sparks her fierce revenge against Demon Maisashura.
Animal sacrifice is of very importance in Nepal as well as in Indian states of, West Bengal or Assan. However, different communities within India itself does not opt for animal sacrifice during the Navratri period.
The animal sacrificial process is conducted at temples to recall the legends of Maa Durga over the devil. Different types of animals like male buffalo, goat and even fowl is sacrificed during as the part of the celebration.
- Festival to rejuvenate with friends and family
Durga Puja or Navratri is perceived as one of many festivals where people are allowed to revitalize themselves with friends and families. The activities that well-executed during this 9-day long celebration are all directed towards honouring of the good over evil.
With these celebrations, Hindus are allowed to bring out the religious feeling in them while getting together with friends and families. Schools and many offices remain closed during the festival time, which makes it an excellent time one can enjoy. Many people opt for going for an extended vacation during the celebration time.
- Festival of lights and decorations
Decorations are one of the most important aspects of Durga Puja or Navratri celebrations. During the entire celebrations time, the streets and homes are well decorated in the honour of Goddess Durga. Similarly, well decorated stages endorsing life size clay statue of Goddess Durga is created in different areas which make it even more important and beautiful.
Navratri is one of the unique festivals that is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and zeal. This auspicious festival is celebrated for various reasons the most important being to remember the legends of Maa Durga and her victory over the devil.
Apart from this, Navratri is celebrated for lights, decorations, ancient rituals, dancing and many more. Navratri 2020 is around the corner. So, if you want to forget the daily hassles, get ready to celebrate the Navratri with lots of energy and enthusiasm. I hope this article has provided you with different reasons why Navratri is celebrated.
Author : Asmita Sharma