Navratri 2015: The festival of Lord Durga begins

Starting from today, it will be an awe-inspiring nine nights! It’s the festival of colours, traditions, dance, songs and whatever more! The excitement and butterflies in your stomach will take off now as Navratri has reached your doorsteps!

Navratri, the Hindu festival of devotion, fasting and high spirits will begin its roller coaster ride today. A nine day ride blended with happiness, togetherness, devotion and peace to redefine you!

As the name implies, this auspicious gala, dedicated to Lord Durga will sweep nine serene days. In these days devotees will worship the nine forms of lord Durga, namely Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidayini. This is the second Navratri celebrations known as Sharada Navratri (also known as Sharad Navratri and Maha Navratri) which is commemorated on the dawn of winter. Though the stories behind Navratri differ in different regions, the devotion and passion remains the same throughout the country.

maa durga

During these blessed nine days, devotees in Gujarat will pray idols of Durga. They also bring ‘Garbi’ (earthen pot) home and light up their homes in the evenings as ‘aarti’ for Lord Durga. The devotees will cherish the occasion of Navratri by performing dance forms like ‘Garba raas’ and ‘dandiya raas’. In West Bengal, the festival is known as Durga Puja. Here Durga Puja is celebrated only on the last four days. Durga idols will be kept in pandals where people worship by ‘aarti’. Later they celebrate the occasion by performing dhak and dhunuchi naach.

While in South India the picture is slightly different. In Andhra Pradesh the festival is named as Bommla Koluvu, while in Tamil Nadu and Kerala it’s known as Navratri itself. This will be commemorated with displays of dolls and idols which represents Goddess.

Apart from the famous dance forms ‘Garba raas’ and ‘dandiya raas’, Navratri also is significant of wearing nine different colours on each days. This attire follows the order of red, royal blue, yellow, green, grey, orange, white, pink and sky blue.

On the eighth and ninth day of Navratri, i.e. on Ashtami and Navmi, devotees perform Kanya Pujan were devotees worship girls, wash their feet, offer clothes, food and gifts to them. Kanya Pujan is performed in the sidelines of Navratri to recognize the feminine power and to give them importance in the social structure.

Along with all these, people also follow unique lifestyle in the Navratri span. Starting from the cleansing of the homes, this includes traditional fasting. Food items like fruits, wheat, food grains, and potatoes are consumed. Non-vegetarian food items are completely avoided in the Navratri period. Some may even avoid garlic and onion too. As part of the tradition, people also avoid cutting hairs.

The serene Navratri period is also considered ideal for laying hands into new ventures as the period is believed to bring good luck. People choose this period ideal to buy a new property, shifting to a new home or starting a new business.

Navratri also has great spiritual significance. The nine days are filled with peace and worship, so that one can come out refreshed and rejuvenated so as to renew the lost energies, positive vibes of life. Commemorate the auspicious Navratri with utmost happiness and be blessed!

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