Indian Festivals


Nav' omeans 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night', thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'. There are many legends attached to the conception of Navratri like all Indian festivals but all of them are related to Goddess Shakti (Hindu Mother Goddess) and her various forms. Though it is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindu calendar, it holds special significance for Gujratis and Bengalis and one can see it in the zeal and fervor of the people with which they indulge in the festive activities of the season. The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion, next three to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity) dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three to Goddess Saraswati (Goddess Of Knowledge) dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan.


The beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Dasaharara, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dasara in popular parlance. The Navaratri festival or ‘nine day festival’ becomes ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijaya-dasami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) is worshipped with fervor and devotion.

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