For the religious ones, every festival has its own significance and its own set of rituals. For the not-so-religious ones, it is just an excuse of celebration. Following article is for the latter category. Navaratri commenced on 13th of this month and is here to stay till 21st. It is festivals with lots of dandiya, pooja, sweets & dressing up every evening. To keep the festivities at high, let us pump up some GK about it!
- Navaratri is Sanskrit for Nine days. Navaratri comes five times in a year. The one going on right now is called “Sharad Navaratri”. Sharad is the current running season that is winter in Hindi.
- Navaratri is the longest festival of Hindu Calendar, lasting nine days. The tenth day is what is called as the famous Dussehra. Twenty days ahead of this is the biggest festival celebrated throughout the country, Diwali.
- Although it is the same festival, but due to such varied cultural diversity, Navaratri is celebrated in different styles in different parts of the country.
Eastern India celebrates it as “Durga Puja”. Visit any part of Kolkata right now. It would be filled with idols of goddess Durga and women wearing white saris with red border.
- Okay, gather around for the story, people!
Here’s the story about historical significance of this nine-day long festival. Once upon a time there existed a demon called “Mahishasura”, the buffalo-demon, who earned a boon that no man could kill him. After acquiring this boon, the demon started terrorising people. Before he could cause any more harm, goddess Parvati took “Avatar” of Durga who was bestowed upon power strength by all other Gods. Being a woman, Durga was an exception to the boon and after a nine day long battle with Mahishasura was able to kill him. The tenth day thus dawned portrays the concept of “Good over evil”.
- Every year the dates of Navaratri change. Ever wondered why?
Navaratri comes on a specific date in Hindu calendar. Since we follow English one, both the calendars have to be superimposed. This superimposition leads to different dates every year.
This is true, not just with Navaratri but all the Hindu festivals as well.
Western parts, Gujrat and Rajasthan celebrate it through a massive dance of Dandiya and Garba.
In Tamil Nadu, little dolls of clay are bought and scenes from epics are created.
Punjabis keep a fast for first seven days and stay up the nights, singing devotional songs about goddess Durga. On the eighth day, a feast of puri, chana and halwa is held for little girls.
Also apart from India, even Nepal celebrates it.
Now as you have all the basic information, go ahead, get dressed to enjoy this festival!