Celebration of Navratri 2018

Of the nine-day celebration of Navratri, three days each are dedicated to the trinity of goddesses: Durga, the goddess of valor; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Prayers, fasting, mark the days and solemnity while the nights are for revelry and merrymaking.

Navratri is probably the only Indian festival which celebrates women in all her roles. The supreme importance of women and the significant contribution of them in maintaining the peace and order in the cosmos are the facts that are acknowledged through the festival of Navratri.

Navratri Rituals

Navratri Vrat (Fast)

There is a ritual of observing fasts during the festival. There are certain restrictions regarding food choices for those who fast. They have to follow a strictly vegetarian diet and cannot eat whole grains like wheat and rice. There are specific food grains like kuttu, sabudana and special rice that they can eat once a day. Potato is the favorite of the people who fast and they eat it in all the possible combinations.

Navratri Puja (Prayers)

All nine nights of Navratri are devoted to Goddess Durga by offering special prayers with a faith that she will bless her devotees, heal their illness and ensure an unproblematic life. Each night is dedicated to worship the various forms of Maa Durga.

On Lalita Panchami (the fifth day), children gather all the books in the house before a sacred lamp and invoke the blessings of Saraswati. It is also the occasion for all artisans to lay down their tools before the goddess and seek her benediction upon their trade. On the eighth and ninth days of the festival, yagnas are performed with the chanting of mantras as a final act of farewell that marks the culmination of the ceremonies.

Besides the daily puja (prayer), the families observing these fasts need to conclude the Navratri celebration by inviting young Pre-pubescent girls (generally nine in number signifying nine different avatars of Durga) to their homes and worshipping them. There also is a ritual of decorating the idol of goddess Durga in a different colour on all the nine days of Navratri.

On the tenth day or Vijaya Dashmi, more popularly known as Dussehra, enormous effigies of Ravana stuffed with firecrackers are torched with flaming arrows to the delight of the revelers. It is also regarded as an auspicious occasion to start an enterprise and for the business communities to open their annual books of account.

Navaratri in India

Navratri celebrations in India vary from state to state though the purpose remains the same-to worship goddess Durga in all her nine forms. The night festivities of Navratri vary in different parts of the country. The most famous and colorful festivities are the Dandiya and Garba dances of the western states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The dancers move around in a circle, sometimes with different steps, in pairs or in groups around a lamp lighted to represent the Eternal Light of the Mother Goddess. In public squares, a garbi or mandvi is installed and decorated with shining tinsel and illuminated with dozens of twinkling oil lamps and the idol of the Mother Goddess in a pavilion which hosts merry dancing at night. Following are the details of how this festival is celebrated particularly is some places in India.


: The state of Gujarat is worth a visit during the Navratri festival. It seems as if the state has been splashed with different colours. The Dandiya Raas and the Garba Raas are the highlights of the Navratri festival in Gujarat. The Amba Mata Temple in Junagarh witnesses a huge conglomeration of people during the festival .Lakshmi Vilas palace of Baroda, Kali temples of Pawagadh, Rural fairs in Kutch are the few of the places where you can be a witness to electrifying Navratri celebrations.

West Bengal

: The Navratri celebrations in Bengal are huge. The big idols of Goddess Durga are worshipped for all the nine days in big pandals. There are several singing and dancing competitions. People sing hymns in praise of the goddess and get dressed up in new clothes. The Ayudha Puja held on the ninth day of the festival see people worshipping their tools and laying them at the feet of the deity for the blessings. On the tenth day, the idols are taken out in a procession to immerse them in water. Dakshineswar Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal is frequented by many devotees during the festival. In Kolkata and other places there are competitions held and the most beautiful and creatively done mandvi gets a prize. For all the nine days, the pavilion becomes the center of all activity where cultural events and competitions are organized every day.


: Kerala has a very good ritual of starting the formal education of all the children who are meant to begin their schooling at the occasion of Durga Puja. The eighth day of Navratri in Kerala sees people worshipping their tools while the ninth day is dedicated to the worship of goddess Saraswati (the goddess of Wisdom). Saraswati Temple at Kottayam and the temples at Thekkegram (Palghat) are the most popular temples where people head to worship and appease the deities.

Festivals in India