Why we celebrate Navratri: History, significance, importance of fasting and varied celebrations.

Posted on: October 1st, 2023 06:15 PM

Navratri, a vibrant and spirited festival celebrated by millions of Hindus worldwide It is a time when the air becomes electric with devotion and enthusiasm. Navratri, which translates to 'Nine Nights,' is a deeply rooted Hindu festival that honors the divine feminine energy, also known as Shakti or Devi. These nine nights are dedicated to the worship of different forms of the Goddess, each representing a facet of her power and grace.

This nine-night extravaganza holds a special place in the hearts of those who revel in its colours, music, dance, and, most importantly, its profound spiritual significance. It's a time when the divine energy, in all its magnificent forms, is revered and celebrated with unmatched zeal.

It is celebrated four times a year—Chaitra Navratri, Sharad Navratri, Magha Navratri, and Ashada Navratri. Among these, Sharad Navratri, which falls in September-October, is the most popular. Sharad Navrati 2023 will start on 15th october and end on 24th october.


Why is Navratri Celebrated?

Navratri is a festival steeped in history and culture. Maa Durga, a symbol of supreme female power, represents the shakti, or feminine energy, in the universe. It is celebrated to honour the divine feminine energy, Devi Durga, and her victory over the formidable demon, Mahishasura. The story of Mahishasura is a captivating tale of good versus evil.

Long ago, a demon named Mahishasura, through years of penance, obtained a gift of immortality from Lord Brahma. With his newfound invincibility, Mahishasura wreaked havoc on both the heavens and the earth. Unable to tolerate his tyranny, the gods combined their powers, giving birth to the magnificent form of Maa Durga, an embodiment of feminine strength.

Maa Durga, riding a lion and possessing multiple arms, engaged in a fierce battle with Mahishasura that lasted for nine nights and ten days. This epic confrontation symbolizes the eternal struggle between good and evil. On the tenth day, known as Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, Maa Durga vanquished Mahishasura, restoring peace and righteousness to the world.

Spiritual Significance of Navratri.

Navratri is not just a festival; it's a journey towards self-realization and spiritual growth. It is a time for introspection, self-purification, and strengthening one's connection with the divine.It teaches us to confront our inner demons and conquer them with courage and faith, just as Maa Durga did with Mahishasura. The nine forms of the goddess worshipped during Navratri represent different facets of existence, from knowledge to power, love to wisdom.

As we celebrate Navratri, we're reminded that the battles we face in life can be won with determination, resilience, and the divine energy that resides within us. It's a time for self-reflection, seeking blessings, and finding strength in the presence of the goddess.

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How is Navratri Celebrated?

Navratri is celebrated with immense enthusiasm across India and the world. While the core essence of Navratri remains the same across the country, each region adds its own unique flavor to the celebrations.

  • West India.

    In the western part of India, especially in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, Navratri is a grand spectacle. The highlight of the celebrations is the Garba and Dandiya Raas dance forms. People dress in colorful traditional attire, look their best and gather in large open grounds to dance to the rhythmic beats of dhol (drum) and traditional songs. The atmosphere is electric with enthusiasm, and the Garba nights are not only about dance but also about showcasing elaborate decorations, idol processions, and indulging in delicious Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisine.

  • North-East India.

    Navratri celebrations in East and North-East India, including states like West Bengal, Assam, and Manipur, have their unique cultural touch. Here, the focus is primarily on worshipping the goddess Durga, and Navratri coincides with Durga Puja. Elaborate pandals (temporary structures) are set up to house beautifully crafted idols of the goddess. The entire community comes together to organize cultural programs, processions, and immerse themselves in the devotion and festivities. Durga Puja is more than just a festival; it's an art form in these regions.

  • North India.

    In the northern states of India, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab, Navratri is celebrated with great zeal. The traditional Ram Leela performances, depicting the life of Lord Rama, are an integral part of the festivities. Devotees fast during the day and participate in the Ram Leela dramas and processions in the evenings. The culmination of Navratri is celebrated with the burning of effigies of the demon king Ravana on Dussehra, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

  • South India.

    Navratri in South India, particularly in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, has its own charm. The festival is marked by the display of dolls and figurines in homes, known as "Golu" or "Bommai Kolu." Families invite friends and relatives to view these colorful displays, and young girls are often given gifts. The ninth day, known as Saraswati Puja, is dedicated to the worship of the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. It's a time when children are initiated into learning, and books and instruments are placed alongside the deity.

Fasting During Navratri.

Fasting is an essential aspect of Navratri, and it serves multiple purposes. It signifies purification of the body and mind. Firstly, it is seen as a form of purification, both physically and spiritually. Many devotees abstain from consuming certain foods and instead opt for a diet of fruits, nuts, and specific grains. This period of self-discipline is believed to detoxify body, awaken spiritual awareness and cleanse the soul.

Summing Up:

In conclusion, Navratri is much more than a festival. It's a symbol of hope, a celebration of the victory of good over evil, and a reminder of the eternal power that resides within us. As we dance, sing, fast, and pray during these nine nights, let us also remember the deeper spiritual significance of Navratri - the journey towards self-transformation and divine grace. Shop Re:fresh Pooja Products now and express your devotion. May the blessings of Maa Durga illuminate our lives and guide us on the path of righteousness.

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