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Navratri Hindu Festival Celebration : Significance Of Nine Magical Days Of Goddess Durga In Navrat

By Author: Mauli Sharma
Total Articles: 68

Navratri is the most poplar Hindu festival of India. Navratri literally translates as nine nights.

The nine days of Navratri festival also referred to as Navratras and are are considered the most auspicious, by all Hindus. This period is the prelude to the festive season and the air is rife with festivity. The tenth day after Navratri is celebrated as Dussehra. This year Navratri falls from 16th October to 23rd October, 2012.

Lets check out the significance of Nine days festival of Navrati:

Fasting & feasting
Navratri is celebrated across the length and breadth of India. If in Gujarat and Maharashtra it is synonymous with swirling chaniya cholis, pulsating beats and the click of dandiyas and raas garba, in Bengal it is celebrated as Durga puja with great fervour and reverence. A display of dolls for nine days, during Navratri, traditionally called 'kolu' marks the celebration across South India. These are also days of fasting across North India, perhaps to prepare the body for the days of feasting ahead!.

Woman power
Navratri also celebrates woman power or womanhood. It was during Navratri, that Goddess Durga took on a powerful form with the combined power of all the gods, as Shakti, and succeeded in overpowering the demon, Mahishasura. Each one of the nine days of Navratri is dedicated to the worship of different forms of Goddess Durga

The nine days
Navratri literally translates into ‘nine nights’. It is a celebration of the various forms of mother goddess. The nine-day festival in reverence to the female energy, or shakti, as she is commonly called is the time for devotion, fun and family time.The first day is dedicated to Kumari, or the girl child. Parvati, symbolizing the young woman, is worshipped on the second day and Kali, the fierce form of Durga is worshipped on the third day. The next three days are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi, to seek her blessings for prosperity, wealth and abundance. The goddess of knowledge and learning, Saraswati is worshipped for the last three days. Books and musical instruments are placed before her to invoke her blessings and benevolence. On the ninth day of Navratri, nine young girls, are worshipped and fed, to signify the nine forms of Durga.

Legends & lore
Navratri marks the period when Durga waged a battle against the demon king, Mahishasura. It was on the ninth day that she assumed the form of Chandika, and succeeded in vanquishing him. Legend has it that Uma, the consort of Shiva, assumed the form of Sati, when her father insulted Shiva. It is believed that Sati comes to stay with her parents for nine days every year, during Navratri. The story of Ram rescuing Sita from the clutches of Ravan is also interwoven with Navratri, for Ram is supposed to have prayed to Durga for the nine days of Navratri for courage and strength. It was on the tenth day (Dussehra) that Ram succeeded in killing Ravan.

Navratri symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of light over darkness. It commemorates woman power, Shakti or inner strength. Whichever way you look at it, India is in a magical celebration mode during Navratri.

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