Navratri - Here comes the celebration of the victory of good over evil. Navratri is a festival that is celebrated all over the country. An annual festival of the Hindus is observed in the honor of Goddess Durga.
But, what is this festival all about? Why it is celebrated, when it is celebrated, and how the festival is celebrated will be discussed in this blog very particularly.
Let us first know what Navratri Festival is.
Also Read - 9 Lessons to Learn from Navratri of 2022
Being Indians, we all know how Navratri is celebrated - with a lot of pomp and show. But do you really know what is Navratri? Or Why do we celebrate Navratri Festival?
Well, Navratri means ‘9 Nights’ in Sanskrit. These are the first 9 nights that occur after the new moon in the lunar calendar.
According to the Yogic culture, the summer solstice marks the beginning of the southern movement of the sun, this time is known as ‘sadhana pada’, during this time many festivals are celebrated which is of divine feminine nature. Mainly, Sharada Navratri is celebrated at this time. This festival starts right after Mahalaya Amavasya (Pitru Paksha), Mahalaya denotes the Devi Pada, this is the time when the whole northern hemisphere of the Earth generates the divine feminine gentleness. This is when Devi is celebrated with glory through the nine days of offerings, rituals, and celebrations.
Navratri 2022 began on 26th September 2022 and will end on 5th October 2022.
These 9 days (10th day as Dashami) of Navratri are celebrated with grandeur. On these 9 days, Devi Durga is celebrated in her 9 forms. In our next section, we will discuss the 9 colours and 9 forms of Devi Durga.
India is a diverse country, and thus Navratri is celebrated in a diversified way. In four regions of the country, Navratri is celebrated in four different ways. Let us virtually enjoy the 4 different types of Navratri celebrations celebrated in India!
In North India, Navratri is celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. This signifies the celebration of Ramlila. Also, on these 9 days, pujas, fasts, and meditations are held. Apart from this, bhajan, kirtan, dancing, and celebrating life and knowledge are held during this time.
In the Western part of India, Navratri is celebrated in a fun manner. With fun and fantastic dance forms like Garba, and Dandiya. Here men and women make pairs and dance and swirl around.
The last five days of Sharad Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja in the Eastern part of India, typically West Bengal. The eighth day is celebrated as Durgashtami, where anjali is offered to Goddess Durga. Lifesize idols of Goddess Durga are depicted with her slaying the demon Mahishahur in the pandals. This is a fun time for people in Kolkata who visits home during the Durga Puja.
In Southern India, Navratri is celebrated when friends, relatives, and neighbours are invited to the home to look at Kolu - this is an exhibition of dolls and figurines.
We all have been hearing about fasting on Navratri elders in our house used to force us into Navratri fasting rules. But why exactly? We never knew. But growing up, we somehow observed fasting, but this curiosity never died. Here we will be talking about 3 scientific reasons behind fasting in Navratri and how it will help us:
1. Navratri Fasting Teaches us Self-control - Cmon! Avoiding or saying a strong NO to the food we love can be beyond our capacity, but in Navratri, when we are mandatorily required to fast, we have to do it by hook or crook, thus in this manner, Navratri teaches us self-control.
2. Navratri Helps in Detoxification - Navratri is an annaul festival, and thus when we give our body a bit of rest by eating light we are giving space to our body cells to produce antioxidants, which helps in removing the waste products from our body.
3. Mindfulness in Navartri - When we skip eating in Navratri, carbohydrates in our diet drastically reduce, for which the body uses fat as a source of energy, the end product of fat is a ketone, these ketone bodies are a good source of energy for the brain cells. This promotes more acetylcholine which increases one’s concentration and helps them to be more mindful.
Following are the 9 forms of Durga being celebrated in the 9 days of Navratri:
Day 1 – Shailaputri
Day 2 – Brahmacharini
Day 3 – Chandraghanta
Day 4 – Kushmanda
Day 5 – Skandamata
Day 6 – Katyayani
Day 7 – Kaalaratri
Day 8 – Mahagauri
Day 9 – Siddhidatri
These 9 colors in the particular 9 days have their significance. The mandirs and pandals are decorated with these colours during the Navratri:
Day 1 Colors of Navratri 2022 - White
Day 2 Navratri Colors 2022 - Red
Day 3 Colors of Navratri 2022 - Royal Blue
Day 4 Happy Navratri Color 2022 - Yellow
Day 5 Happy Navratri Color 2022 - Green
Day 6 Happy Navratri Colours 2022 - Grey
Day 7 Happy Navratri Color 2022 - Orange
Day 8 Happy Navratri Color 2022 - Peacock Green
Day 9 Vibrant Navratri Color 2022 - Pink
Navratri combines two Sanskrit words - Nav means 9 and Ratri means Night.
The 9 Devi incarnations formed into one is known as Goddess Durga.
According to historical culture, the gods permitted Goddess Durga to meet her mother once a year, so during this time, Durga came to visit her mother. Thus, it is signified as a Mother-Daughter meeting as well.
Garba and Dandiya are not precisely similar.
Garba is performed in chants and bhajans and has a more devotional appeal than Dandiya.
Garba is performed before arti while dandiya is played in the late evening.
Garba is played by hands, feet, and different graceful movements, while Dandiya is played with colourful sticks.
Garba is mainly focused on the goddess. While Dandiya is concentrated in Krishna Leela.
Hope this article had enough insights on How is Navratri celebrated across India and why is fasting done on Navratri. Apart from this, we also know a lot about the nine nights of Navratri. It was a beautiful illustration of Goddess Durga triumphing over the evil power.
With this being said, now let us end this blog with Navratri Wishes!
1. What does Navratri symbolize?
Navratri symbolizes the win of good over evil. Devi Durga slaying the demon Mahishashur marks this event.
2. Which two days are most important in Navratri?
Ashtami and Navami are the two important days of Navratri.