Navaratri 2018 – Navratri will begin on Wednesday October 10 and will end on Thursday October 18.

Why do we celebrate the Navaratri festival?

Navaratri is one of those traditional festivals which is endowed with a great significance in India. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil. Navaratri is basically celebrated for nine days which culminates on the tenth day. The festival also celebrates nine different forms of Maa Shakti. There are various mythological, spiritual and natural reasons to celebrate Navaratri but the prevalent one is the worshipping of different forms of Goddess Durga who removes all miseries and fill it with happiness, joy, and prosperity.

Happy Navratri

How many times does Navaratri come in a year?

Navaratri comes twice a year. One – Aswina Navaratri which occurs in the month of Ashwin (September or October as per Gregorian calendar) and other in the month of Chaitra (March or April as per Gregorian calendar). The one in the month of Ashwin is celebrated with more fervor and enthusiasm.

How is Navaratri celebrated in different parts of India?

The festival of Navaratri brings joy and peace with it. There is happiness and gaiety all around. People who belong to different cultural backgrounds come together and celebrate the victory of good over evil.

In Gujarat, Dandiya festival is organized on this occasion. The sounds of dandiya sticks, dhol, and tunes of garba can be heard everywhere in the state. Traditional costumes are worn and dances are performed by men and women altogether.

In Tamil Nadu these nine days are celebrated worshipping goddesses and exchanging gifts. Married women are given bangles, bindi, and other ornamental stuff. A ritual called Kolu is the most interesting part of the festival in which the staircase is decorated with dolls.

Navaratri in Karnataka is celebrated on a grand scale. In the city of Mysore exhibition of elephants is held on the streets and fairs are organized all over the state. Pujas are performed in various parts of Karnataka.

Celebrations in Himachal Pradesh are also held on a grand scale. Specifically, the Dusshera of Kullu is extremely popular which attracts tourists from worldwide. Grand scale celebrations are held to show respect to Lord Rama and Goddess Durga during Navaratri.

In Maharashtra, Navaratri is significant for new beginnings. It is considered as the best time to buy property or initiate new business ventures. Gifts are exchanged, dandiya is played and traditional dances are performed during Navaratri.

In other parts of India including West Bengal, Bihar and North-east, the last four days are considered extremely significant. Durga Puja is considered as the most popular festival and the victory of Goddess Durga over evil is celebrated with full fervor and enthusiasm.

Which form of Devi Durga is Worshipped on the first day of Navaratri?

On the first day of Navaratri, Goddess Shailputri is worshipped. Shail means mountains and Putri means daughter. Therefore, the daughter of the king of Mountains is worshipped on the first day of Navaratri. She has 2 hands which displaying a trident and lotus. Shailputri remains mounted upon a bull.

Why is Chaitra Navaratri celebrated?

Chaitra Navaratri is observed during Shukla Paksha of Chitra month. It is mostly observed in western or northern India. The celebrations begin in March and mark the beginning of Hindu New year. All over India Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated in different forms. In Maharashtra, it is celebrated as Gudi Padwa, in Kashmir as Navreh, in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka as Ugadi.

Which goddess is Worshipped on the second day of Navaratri?

Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navaratri. She is known to be the store-house of knowledge and wisdom. As per traditions, Maa Brahmacharini personifies love and loyalty. She holds a Kumbha or earthen water pot in one hand and rosary in the other one. Rudraksha is the most adored ornament of the goddess.

Which goddess is Worshipped on the third day of Navaratri?

Maa Chandraghanta who astride on a tiger possess three eyes and displays a golden hue is worshipped on the third day of Navaratri. She has ten hands and three eyes. Two hands of Devi Chandraghanta are in gestures of boon giving and preventing harm while the remaining eight are holding weapons of a different kind. Goddess Chandraghanta is believed to shower bliss, peace, and knowledge. She also bestows her devotees with serenity like a cool breeze in a moonlit night.

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