Nine-day long festival has begun today (September 26) and will continue till October 5. The Shardiya Navratri festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars and today marks the first day of the festivity (Kalash or Ghatsthapna). The festival is celebrated with much fervor all across the country by Hindus.
Navratri 2022: The festive season is here. All over the country, Navratri is celebrated with a whole lot of grandeur and pomp. From Navratri to Durga Puja, the festival has many names but only one intention – to have a blast with colours, festivities, food, happiness and watch people return to their homes to be with their near and dear ones. Navratri, which literally translates to nine nights, is the celebration of ten days and worshipping of goddess Shakti. Durga Puja, on the other hand, worships the homecoming of goddess Durga from Kailash Parvat to her maternal house with her four children – goddess Lakshmi, goddess Saraswati, lord Ganesha and lord Kartik.
India is known for its unity in diversity and even though this festival is celebrated all across the country, in the different states, it has different names and rituals. Merging the individual traditions and mythologies, Navratri sees different celebrations all across the country.
In Eastern India, mainly West Bengal and the North-East, Navratri is known as Durga Puja. People celebrate goddess Durga’s triumph over Mahishasura. Women deck up in colours of white and red, and the cities are decorated with lights. People enjoy the inception of the festival from the day of Mahalaya to the day of Bijoya Dashami, when the idols are immersed in water and the wait for the next year begins.
In West India, especially in Gujarat, Navratri is one of the main festivals. Women keep fast during the day to worship Goddess Shakti. They decorate their homes and visit the nearby temple. At night, large functions of Garba – the traditional dance of Gujarat – is organised where men and women dance with dandiyas.
North India celebrates the triumph of lord Rama over Ravana. It also celebrates lord Rama’s homecoming to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile with wife Sita and brother Lakshman. The festival is observed with sweets, food items. Women keep fast to offer their puja and bask in festivities at night.