Navratri is derived from the Sanskrit word, ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night. It is a Hindu festival, with all nine days representing the nine manifestations of the powerful Goddess Durga. The story behind celebrating Navratri is Good winning over Evil. Goddess Durga also known as “Navadurga” is worshipped in her nine different forms; this is an important ritual of Navratri puja. This festival is celebrated for nine nights and ten days, where the tenth day is celebrated as ‘Dusshera’. Navratri is celebrated across India. But this festival is celebrated with enthusiasm and fever pitch in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Southern Parts of Karnataka. In West Bengal it is celebrated as Durga Puja. Navratri, the festival of nine nights will be celebrated this year from 1st October 2016.
9 places and 9 rituals of Navratri festival
- WEST BENGAL, ASSAM & BIHAR:
Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja in West-Bengal, Assam and Bihar, with great energy and enthusiasm. Saptami, Ashthami, Navami and Dashami—the last four days of Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja in the eastern parts of the country. A week before Navratri begins; the idols of Goddess Durga are being painted and made ready, except for the eyes. On the occasion of Mahalaya, the Goddess is invited on earth with rituals and so on this day the eyes are drawn on the idols in an auspicious ritual called Chokku Daan. It is believed the Goddess descends to earth at the time of drawing the eyes on the idols. The festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Procession to bring in the deity: On the sixth day of Navratri i.e. the first day of Durga Puja, the beautifully decorated idols are brought home or into magnificently decorated public pandals. The idol of the Goddess is accompanied by the idol of Lord Ganesha.
The Ritual of Pran Pratishta – Kola Bou Bath: This is the ritual of invoking the presence of the Goddess in the idol. This takes place on the seventh day, when early in the morning; a small banana plant called Kola Bou is taken to the river to be bathed and dressed in a red bordered sari and carried back in a procession to be placed near the idol of the Goddess.
Dashami: The tenth day of the Durga Puja festival is called Dashami, it is believed that on this day, Goddess Durga gained victory over the Demon and thus restored the balance on earth. It is also known as Vijayadashami. On this day, Goddess Durga is worshipped and offered many things as she is prepared to leave. Highly enthusiastic devotees gather in large numbers to join the procession that carries the Goddess to the ghats to immerse in water.
Places to Visit for Durga Puja Celebrations:
- Kumartuli Park: Nearest Metro Station: Sovabazar Sutanuti
- Ahritola Sarbajanin Durgatsab: Nearest Metro Station: Sovabazar Sutanuti
- Dum Dum Park, Tarun Sangha: Nearest Metro Station: Belgachia
Navratri in Gujarat is celebrated with joy and energy. It is an important festival celebrated all around Gujarat. The sound of dandiya sticks and dhol, people dancing gracefully, colourful vibrant traditional outfits and the energetic vibes can be seen in every lane and grounds during these nine days. Devotees observed to be fasting and worship Goddess Ambe. In the evening, an earthen pot with diyas also known as garbi, symbolised as the source of life, is used for the evening puja after which traditional dances known as garba and dandiya are performed both by men and women. Women dresses up in traditional dress Chanya Choli(skirt and blouse)loaded with traditional ornaments, while men wear kurta or kedya(traditional dress). If you really wish to enjoy Navratri then Gujarat is the best place to visit.
Places to Visit:
- Cultural Forum Navali Navratri-Gandhinagar-Sector 8, Cultural Forum Ground.
Tickets: Rs 500 to Rs 1000
- Ghumo Eno Garba- Ahemadabad- Palm Greens Club, Goblej, National Highway No 8.
Tickets: Rs 300 to Rs 400.
- United Way Of Baroda Garba Mahotsav- Vadodara- Alembic City Ground
Tickets: Rs 2500 for men and Rs 50 participation fee and Rs 200 for women as a security deposit that can be refunded.
Punjabis fast for the first seven days during this festival. On the eighth or ninth day the fast are broken by inviting young girls from the neighbourhood and are honoured with gifts including money, food etc. These girls, known as ‘kanjak’, are considered as nine different avatars (forms) of Goddess Shakti. All nine nights they perform jagrata’s where all friends and family come together and sing religious songs and bajans, honouring reincarnated forms of Goddess Shakti.
Kerala celebrates Navratri in a very different way. The last three days are known as Durgashtami, Mahanavami and Vijayadashami. In Durgashtami, Ayudya puja is conducted. Ayudya puja means any tools or materials used for job or education are offered to God for blessings. There are arrangements in different temples for conducting Ayudya puja. For two days these tools are not allowed to take back. So in Kerala no jobs are done during Durgashtami evening and in Mahanavami day. The next day is Vijayadashmi, on this day the tools and books are taken back home from the temples and placed near the idols of Goddess Saraswati at their home. The day is considered as a good day for starting any of the cultural activities like dance, music etc. In Kerala, Navratri is associated with education. As this festival marks the victory of good over evil, people of Kerala consider these days as most auspicious for learning or starting something new.
In Maharashtra, Navratri is celebrated in a similar way as celebrated in Gujarat. Navratri symbolises new beginnings, hence it is believed that this is the best time for buying property or making business deals. Married Maharastian women invite their married friends at home and apply haldi(turmeric) and kumkum(a red powder used for religious purposes) on their forehead and exchange gifts. People also fast for 9 days and avoid eating non-veg food. You can experience a huge festive celebration, people playing Dandiya and Garba at different cultural clubs and grounds in Mumbai same as Gujarat.
Place to visit :
- Kora kendra ground, Borivali (West).
Tickets: Season Passes (All 10 Days Dancing) – Rs.2250, Weekdays Charges – Rs.360/- and Weekend Charges – Rs.450.
- Sankalp Navratri-Goregaon Sports Club (Goregaon Malad Link Road).
Tickets:Season Passes Rs. 2500/-, Weekdays and Weekend Charges differs from 300 to 500 depending on response and crowd.
- Radio Club- 157, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai.
Tickets: Weekdays Rs 150 to Rs 200, Weekends- Rs 350 to Rs 500.
- ANDHRA PRADESH
In Andhra Pradesh the nine days of Navratri, are devoted to Maha Gauri, the Goddess representing womanhood. These nine days are celebrated in very unique way and it is known as Batukamma Panduga, which means `Come Alive Mother Goddess`.`Batukamma` is actually a beautiful flower stack, arranged with colourful seasonal flowers, in seven layers. It looks like a pot of flowers. Women wear silk sarees, gold ornaments and sing religious songs and dances around Batukamma. So, this festival is devoted to celebrating universal motherhood.
- HIMACHAL PRADESH
Celebrations in Himachal Pradesh start when it ends for others. It’s known as Kullu Dussehra marking the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. People in Himachal celebrate the festival for 7 days, after Dussehra. Local Hindu families have get-together and sing religious songs to show their respect to Goddess Durga. The celebration ends on the seventh day following a ritual of burning a heap of dry grass on the bank of Beas River. It symbolises burning of Lanka by Lord Rama.
Karnataka celebrates Navratri in very unique way. Navratri in Karnataka is known as Nadahabba and is celebrated in the same way that it was way back in 1610 by the great Vijayanagara dynasty. Vijayadashami, the tenth day of Navratri, marks the victory of the good over the evil when Goddess Shakti fought and killed the demon Mahishasura on this day. Ironically, the state of Mysore was named after Mahishasura. Dasara is celebrated by illuminating the Mysore Palace with nearly 100,000 lamps which is a rare sight. The procession is carried on richly embellished elephants and can be seen from all across the city.
Varanasi comes alive during the festival of Navratri. The holy city celebrates this festival with rituals and cultural programs. Ram Leela drama and dance is performed, the artist enact the lives of lord Ram and Sita during their exile. They recite the Ramcharitamanas for nine days and worship all gods and goddesses. On the following day of Dussehra, Bharat Milaap is performed that depicts the reunion of Lord Ram with his brother Bharat in Ayodhya. The city is enlightened with colourful lights for all nine days.
9-Days 9-colours Of Navratri 2016
|Dates /days||Colours/ Characteristics|
|01-oct Pratipada||Red- One who is Always in Action|
|02-oct Dwitiya||Royal blue- One Who Inspires|
|03-oct Tritiya||Yellow- One who Works Hard|
|04-oct Chaturthi||Green- One who is Nature|
|05- oct Panchami||Grey-one who grants Wishes|
|06-oct Sashti||Orange- One who is Courageous|
|07-oct Saptami||White-One who has All the Gunas|
|08-oct Ashtami||Pink-one who signifies beginning|
|09-oct Vavami||Sky blue-One who Represents Illusions|