Navratri Special

Navratri Special

  • 24/09/2019
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Navratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated amongst Indians, and spans for a duration of 9 nights. Different states and cultures across India celebrate Navratri in their own ways, with varying reasons behind the celebration of the joyous festival. However, all these reasons originated from traditional folklore have one element in common, and that is celebrating the prosperity of Good over the forces of Evil. Though there are many stories circulated about the origin of the festival, however, there are two primarily recognized ones.

 

Festival Origin in the North and the West

In North and West India, Navratri celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the evil, demonic ten-headed Ravana, the king of Lanka, who had kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife, Sita. The nine days of Navratri span through the enactment of the ‘Ramayana’ epic and the ninth and last day showcases the final battle between Lord Rama and King Ravana. It shows how Rama defeated the evil ten-headed Ravana by shooting his arrow through Ravana’s navel, which was supposedly the source of his power, thus killing him.

 

Festival Origin in the East and Northeast

The second story revolves around Goddess Durga and is celebrated in East and Northeast India. In these regions, the festival celebrates the battle of Durga against the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura, and her victory over the demon that helped establish peace in the world again. Her success is remembered and rejoiced every year through the festival of Durga Puja. The story of her battle of victory is depicted in the epic ‘Devi Mahatmya.’

 

Festival Origin in the South

The Southern states of India celebrate Navratri by worshipping the different goddesses and celebrating their victory of the forces of evil. The festival celebrations are equally devoted to Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Most South Indians place their books in front of the idol of Goddess Saraswati to worship their academic texts and improve their reading and writing and other comprehension based skills.

 

Celebration and Significance Of Navratri

Like established above, the festival of Navratri is celebrated in various ways by Hindus all over the country and the world depending on their regions. In some states, there are ten-day melas that depicts the entire ‘Ramayana’ epic through performances by stage actors. The mela also houses many other entertaining activities such as game stalls, exciting rides, dance performances and a variety of food stalls. These melas take place in several areas across the country and are often visited by families, who are also dressed in traditional Indian wear. During the nine-day celebrations, several elders of the family gather together to recite the scriptures related to the festival.

 

In the duration of the nine-day festival, many Hindu’s partake in the fasting process to please and convey their devotion to the Goddess. The worship the Goddess and offer their prayers for good health and prosperity of themselves, their families and their businesses. Temples in various parts of the country are donned with beautiful decorations, from clothing to ornaments and other riches. A majority of the people break the fast on the eighth or ninth day, which is named Ashtami and Ram Navami in the same order. The Kanya Puja takes place on both these days because it signifies the worshipping of Goddess Durga. Young girls are provided with several Indian delicacies to consume, from sweets like halwa to poori and channa, and coconuts, along with providing them with money and other gifts. People usually tend to break their fast after the Kanya Puja.

 

In 2019, Navratri will be celebrated from the dates of 29th September to 8th October. The Sharada Navratri is the one that is primarily celebrated, where Sharada means autumn and takes place between September and October.

 


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