Starting October 7 and honoring divine femininity, Navaratri is celebrated for nine nights and 10 days, paying respect to the nine incarnations of the goddess Durga. Also known as Sharda Navaratri, it's observed in the lunar month of Ashvin according to the Hindu calendar.
Some devotees fast while others hold a feast, but all pay homage to the goddess Durga. She's said to be the godess of all fortune, with the power to dispel all sorrow. Navrarti is the longest-running of all Hindu festivals.
Legend of Navaratri
This festival commemorates the occasion when the goddess Durga defeated the buffalo demon Mahishasura in a battle that lasted nine days, finally prevailing over him on the tenth day. In her first birth, her father hated Lord Shiva, whom Durga loved, so the goddess suffered severe penance to get a father in her next birth who would love and respect Lord Shiva. In order to win Lord Shiva in marriage, Durga walked barefoot for thousands of years, initially living on flowers and fruits, then on leaves, and finally surviving solely on air.
In a different version of the legend, the goddess Parvati was believed to be married to Lord Shiva and to have come to Earth with her four children: Lakshmi, Ganesha, Sarasvati, and Kartikeya as well as her two best friends, Jaya and Bijaya.
Celebration Practices of Navaratri
During the Navrarti festival, celebrants dress in their best clothes and perform the Garba dance celebrating the belief of time. A clay lantern is placed in the center of the dance circle, and devotees dance around it. During this period, devotees fast to keep themselves strong mentally.
Some people believe that this is when powers give energy to the planet Earth so it can revolve easily around the sun, keep the climate in check, and the universe in balance. Over the festival's nine days, people celebrate different avatars of the goddess Durga.
Day 1 is dedicated to Mata Shailputri, who's the daughter of the mountains, radiant and wearing a moon on her forehead. Devotees wear yellow on this day in order to celebrate happiness, brightness, and cheer and offer her jasmine, which is said to be her favorite flower.
Day 2 is dedicated to Mata Brahmacharini, who's unmarried and youthful. People wear green to represent growth, new beginnings, and fresh energy, and first dance and clap only to later sit in silence. She's supposed to bring serenity and calm to devotees' minds as well as instill self-confidence. Young unmarried girls are worshiped as a Devi form and are gifted with flowers, sweets, and gifts.
Day 3 is dedicated to Mata Chandraghanta in order to ask for zeal and determination and the destruction of evil. Devotees wear grey on this day.
Day 4 is dedicated to Mata Kushmanda, who's also known as the smiling goddess. She represents knowledge, brightness, and tranquility. Devotees wear orange on this day.
Day 5 is dedicated to Mata Skandamata, who represents purity, peace, and mediation. People wear white on this day.
Day 6 is dedicated to Mata Katyayani, who represents beauty and fearlessness. Devotees wear red on this day.
Day 7 is dedicated to Mata Kaalratri, who represents immense power and divine energy. Devotees wear royal blue on this day.
Day 8 is dedicated to Marta Mahagauri, who represents happiness and peace as well as the purity and inner beauty of every living thing. Devotees wear red on this day.
Day 9 is dedicated to Mata Siddhidatri, who represents compassion and purity as well as hope, self-refinement, and social uplifting. Devotees wear pink on this day.
Romikas is honored to assist you in celebrating Navaratri by offering a wide selection of beautiful, eye-catching South Asian jewelry.
May this Navaratri bless you with happiness, health, and peace.
Happy Navaratri, everyone!
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