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Navaratri begins

October 3

Navratri, Durga

Navratri, a significant festival, is a nine-night, ten-day celebration dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Durga. The word “Navratri” means “nine nights” in Sanskrit, and during these nine nights, the nine forms of Durga are honored. It usually takes place twice a year – once at the beginning of summer (Chaitra Navratri) and again at the onset of winter (Sharad Navratri). The latter is more widely celebrated across India.

The festivities commence on the first day of Navratri with ‘Ghatasthapana’ or ‘Kalash Sthapana’, which marks the beginning of the puja. This ritual involves installing a pot or pitcher (Kalash) filled with water, which is covered with cow dung and sewn with barley seeds. The pot symbolizes the universe, and the water inside signifies the life-giving element. It is covered with a coconut and placed on a bed of mud where barley seeds are sown.

The Goddess Durga is invoked into the Kalash, and for the next nine days, the barley seeds (which symbolize prosperity and growth) are watered and carefully tended to. The growth of the sprouts signifies the blessing of the Goddess.

The next nine days are filled with elaborate rituals, fasting, singing, dancing, and the recitation of sacred texts. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to a distinct form of Goddess Durga, and a specific color, associated with the particular form of the Goddess, is worn on each day.

Navratri concludes on the tenth day, known as ‘Vijaya Dashami’ or ‘Dussehra’, a day celebrating the victory of good over evil, when the idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in water, marking her return to her celestial abode.


October 3
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