Navratri is a day away and finally its that time of the year when 9 days are spent celebrating, dancing and worshipping the idol of Goddess Durga.
Navratri is a 9-day long festival celebrated in India to honor the mother goddess in all her avatars (forms).
Though Navratri is the most popular festival in West Bengal, Bihar Gujarat, and Assam. This 9-day long festival is celebrated in various parts of India in many different ways with great pomp.
There are various reasons to the question why Navratri is celebrated but one thing is common in all the stories – good winning over the evil.”
So let’s have a look to these 9 states and their 9 different ways to celebrate navratri –
1. West Bengal, Bihar ,Assam
Navratri or Durga Pooja is the most important and popular festival in this state of West Bengal Assam and bihar. For the Bengali Hindus it It is the largest festival. In these states last 4 days are the most important- saptami asthami navami and dashami or dusshera. Beautiful pandals are made and starting from the 6th day the pandals with Grand and beautiful idols of Goddess Durga are open for visitors.
Gujarat is the only state where 9 day long festival is celebrated dancing. Each night all over the state villages cities alike people gather to celebrate feminine divinity Shakti. The dance form here is known as Ras garba or dandiya. Each night the village or urban neighborhood gather to perform a puja to one of the nine forms of Goddess. The nine nights are also broken up into sections of three; the first is for Durga, the goddess who destroyed an evil force represented by the demon Mahishasura, and who destroys human impurities; the second is for Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the third is for Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art. It is a time to celebrate fertility and the monsoon harvest, represented by a mound of fresh soil in which grains are sown.
During the nine sacred nights, in Punjab daily “jagrans” are held. And on the day of Ashtami and Navami (the 8th and 9th day), the devotees invite the young girls and honor them with food gifts and money. This practice is known as “Kanya Pujan” or “Kanchak”.
Batukamma Panduga is celebrated during Navratri in Andhra Pradesh, especially in the Telangana region. `Batukamma Panduga` means `Come Alive Mother Goddess`. These nine days are dedicated to Shakti and are celebrated in a unique way with great pomp.
The women of Andhra Pradesh prepare “Batukamma” which is basically a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven layers. It is made to look like a pot made of flowers. Batuku in Telugu means life and Amma, as we all know, means mother. So, this festival is devoted to celebrating universal motherhood. Women during Navratri wear silk sarees and gold ornaments and make the most of these nine days to dig a hole in their husband’s pockets!
5. Tamil Nadu
Just like the above-listed states, Tamil Nadu has its own way to celebrate this 9-day long festival in a unique way. These nine days are divided and devoted to the Trinity of God worshipped in a female form – three days for Durga (Goddess of Strength) three days for Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) and three days for Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Art). And on the 10th day a sculpture or model of “Ravana” is burnt to celebrate “the victory of good over the evil.”
For the Kerala people, Navratri is associated with education. The last three days of this festival witness the worship of the goddess of wisdom and learning, Goddess Saraswati.
In Karnataka, Navratri is also known as Mysore Dasara or Nadda Habba. According to history, the Dasara festivities began with the Vijayanagar kings in the 15thcentury. It is a 10-day long festival with the last or 10th day being Vijayadashami. Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth or good over evil. For, it was the day the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura.
Just like the state of Gujarat, in Maharashtra also dance festival is observed during the 9-day long festival. For the Maharashtra people, Navratri means “New Beginnings”. Hence for them, Navratri is the best time to invest in business or buying of new property.
The festival of Navaratri is celebrated with great devotion by the people of Himachal Pradesh as in other parts of the country. A “mela” is organized every year during Navratri. The Navratra Mela is an occasion when people get to meet their relatives and friends. During the Navratri, the devotee visits various shrines in Kangra, Una, and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh to pay honor to Goddess Durga.
Truly India is incredible! Different states, different religion, different culture and yet united together. So which state are you going to visit this Navratri?
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