Navaratri is one of the major Hindu festivals that is celebrated by the Hindus all around the globe over a span of nine nights after the monsoon autumn. Navaratri, also known as Navrata or Navarati is actually the celebration of the good over evil. This festival is celebrated in the month of Ashvin in Hindu calendar and it is mostly around September or October. The name Navratri is composed of two words Nav meaning nine and ratri which means nights. This festival is in honour of Goddess Durga who defeated Mahishasura, the demon king, in a battle.
History of Navarati:
According to the legends, Mahishasura was given the immortality by Lord Brahma with a condition that he can also be defeated by a woman. After gaining the immortality, Mahishasura attacked all of the three spheres (Trilok), including Earth, Heaven as well as Hell. He was so powerful that no one could defeat him. After all this Lord Brahma combined his powers with Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu for creating Goddess Durga. After this Goddess Durga and Mahishasura has a 115 days long battle. During the battle Mahishasura, the demon king changed his form continuously in order to confuse Goddess Durga. When Mahishasura changed his form to a buffalo, Goddess Durga slayed him with trishul. Mahishasura was killed on the day of Mahalaya.
Over the course of whole festival that spanned nine days, different avatars of Goddess Durga are honoured which includes
- Day 1 – Goddess Shailpitri
- Day 2 – Goddess Brahmacharini
- Day 3 – Goddess Chandraghanta
- Day 4 – Goddess Kushmanda
- Day 5 – Goddess Skandamata
- Day 6 – Goddess Katyayani
- Day 7 – Goddess Kaalratri
- Day 8 – Goddess Mahagauri
- Day 9 – Goddess Siddhidatri
During the Navarati festival, Indian families and friends get together for celebration according to their own traditions. Like in Eastern India, the festival is celebrated as Durga Puja, in Gujrat dandiya is played during the festival, people in this region fast and pray during the festival. In Northern India, Ram Leela, a visual reenactment of Ramayana is held and the festival ends with Dussehra during which Ravana’s effigies are set on fire for depicting that the good has defeated the evil.