Navarathri (Nine nights) Festival

Navarathri (Nine nights) Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Madurai. It is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Meenakshi. The Goddess is worshiped in her nine forms during the festival. Navarathri Festival in Madurai is celebrated in the month of 'asvina' (according to Hindu almanac) on the first nine lunar days. According to the Tamil calendar, Navarathri is held in the nine lunar days that is said to begin after the new moon in 'purattaci' (September-October). The festivities of Navarathri begin with the first phase of the moon after Mahalaya Amavasya and conclude with Dussehra or Vijaya Dasami, as it is popularly called.

Navarathri (Nine nights) Festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Sakti over Mahisasura, the buffalo-demon. Goddess Sakti is said to have killed the demon on the eighth lunar day. Therefore, the eighth day of the festival is also known as 'mahastami'. On this occasion, the devotees of Goddess Sakti keep fast for nine days. Many people refrain from having non-vegetarian food.

Last Updated on 9/15/2011