Navratri is a festival of goddesses, and it is celebrated for nine days. It is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu religion. It is celebrated worldwide with equal enthusiasm by people of all faiths.
The festival commemorates the battle of Navratri, where the goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahishasura. The festival also marks the beginning of autumn and the advent of Dussehra. Navratri festival falls in September or October every year. It is an autumn festival and lasts for nine days.
It is observed to worship goddesses and pray for good harvest, prosperity, peace, and harmony in family, society, nation, and universe. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about Navratri: its history, significance, facts, and popular foods to include in your menu during this festival.
What is Navratri Festival?
Navratri Festival is the most important festival that celebrates the divine feminine. Navratri festival takes place over nine days in the month of Ashvin, also called Ashvina. On the 10th day, people often celebrate Dussehra, also called Vijayadashami. In some parts of India, Dussehra is an essential part of the festival, so it lasts for 10 days instead of 9. Also, because Navratri is based on the lunar calendar, it may be celebrated for 8 days in some years, with Dussehra on the ninth.
Four festivals called Navratri are all the same and are held at different times of the year. But the most important one is Sharad Navratri, which occurs in the early fall. It starts on the same day as Durga Puja, a 10-day celebration of the goddess Durga’s victory that is especially popular in some eastern states.
When is navratri in 2023 in India?
The Navratri will be held from Sunday, October 15, 2023, to Tuesday, October 24, 2023, all over India.
History of Navratri
Hindus celebrate the Navratri festival to honour the goddess Durga for killing the demon Mahishasura.
Lord Brahma, a more powerful god, gave Mahishasura the gift of immortality because he was so loyal to him. This meant that Mahishasura would never die.
But this gift came with one catch: Mahishasura could only be defeated by a woman.
Mahishasura didn’t think any woman could kill him, so he was happy with the deal.
Over time, Mahishasura and his men became a strong group that attacked people on Earth, and none of the gods could stop them.
The three most potent Hindu gods, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva, finally decided to work together to make the goddess Durga a strong woman whose job would be to kill Mahishasura.
Before she went to fight Mahishasura, the gods gave the new goddess Durga a lot of weapons.
Durga fought the demon for 10 days. It was hard for her because the demon kept changing his shape to confuse her. When he finally turned into a buffalo, Durga was able to beat him.
Who is the Goddess Worshipped During Navratri?
Navratri festival is a Hindu festival in India that is among the most anticipated and lucky. Different parts of the country celebrate the holiday in different ways. During the celebrations, Maa Durga is praised in nine different ways.
The Nine Forms of Goddess Durga
‘Navratri’ in Sanskrit means ‘nine nights’. On these nine nights, people fast and offer special prayers to the “Nine Forms of Maa Durga.” Goddess Durga is a reincarnation of Goddess Parvati. She took the form of Devi Durga to kill Mahishasura.
Read more: What to wear on 9 days of Navratri?
Goddess Shailputri is the first time Goddess Durga showed herself. In Sanskrit, Shail means mountain, so her name, Shailputri, comes from the fact that she was born as the daughter of Himalaya. She rides a bull named Nandi and holds a Trishul in one hand and a lotus in the other.
The Goddess Brahmacharini is honoured on the second day of Navratri festival. The goddess walks barefoot, with one hand holding a rudraksha mala and the other holding a sacred Kamandalu. This goddess’s form, when meditating, is a picture of Goddess Parvati when she was meditating deeply to please Lord Shiva.
The Goddess Chandraghanta is honoured on the third day of Navratri festival. She is a fierce goddess with 10 arms and a crescent moon on her forehead. She rides a tiger to kill all the wrong people and things. This is how she got her name, Chandraghanta.
The fourth day of Navratri festival, called Chaturthi, is the day of Devi Kushmanda. The name Kushmanda comes from three words: “Ku,” which means “little,” “Ushma,” which means “warmth” or “energy,” and “Amnda,” which means “egg,” which means “the creator of the universe.”
Panchami is another name for the goddess Skandmata, who is worshipped on the fifth day. Skandmata is a god with four arms. In two of them, she holds a lotus, and in the other two, she holds a sacred Kamandalu and a bell. She also has a baby Kartikay on her lap, which is why Kartikay is also called Skanda. She’s sitting on a lotus flower.
The Goddess Katyayani, a form of Shakti, is honoured on the sixth day of Navratri festival. Katyayani is a form of Goddess Parvati, also called the Warrior Goddess. She is thought to be one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. She has four arms and a sword in one of them. She is Sage Katyayan’s daughter, and she rides a lion.
The seventh day of Navratri festival is Saptami, the day of Goddess Kaalratri. Legends say she gave up her light skin and turned dark to kill demons. She is a goddess with four arms. She rides on a donkey and carries a sword, a trident, and a noose. People say she has a third eye on her forehead that can see the whole universe.
On the eighth day of Navratri festival, called Durga Asthami, Goddess Mahagauri is honoured. She is a god with four arms who rides a white elephant or a bull. She is holding both a Trishul and a damru.
The last day of Navratri festival is the day of Goddess Siddhidhatri. This form of the goddess Durga stands for completeness. She is shown as a god with four arms sitting on a lotus and holding a mace, a discus, a book, and a lotus in her hands.
What is the Significance of Navratri?
The festival celebrates that good won over evil in the famous battle between Durga and the demon Mahishasura. These nine days are all about Durga and her nine forms, called “avatars” or “Navadurga.”
9 Interesting Facts About Navratri
- Navratri comes from two Sanskrit words: Nav, which means “nine,” and Ratra, which means “night.” Since this festival is held all over the country for nine nights, it is called Navratri, which means “the festival of nine nights.”
- During the nine days of the Navratri festival, Goddess Durga and her many forms are worshipped. The nine Goddesses include – Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri. Many people think that each of these nine Goddesses has a lot of power and that when they all work together, they make Goddess Durga.
- Five times a year, the Navratri festival takes place. Yes, Navratri can happen in March or April, June or July, September or October, December or January, or January or February. But the most popular and widely observed Navratri is called Sharad Navratri and takes place in September and October.
- Many people think Navratri is a way to remember how Goddess Durga beat the demon Mahishasura. The Gods made Goddess Durga stop the terrible things that the demons did. Mahishasura and Goddess Durga fought for nine days and nine nights. On the tenth day, the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura was killed by Goddess Durga.
- Now that you have read about how the goddess Durga defeated the buffalo-headed Mahishasura, another interesting fact comes to light. In many parts of India, animals are killed as a way to remember that they won.
- On the ninth day of Navratri, people worldwide worship their jobs and the tools they use to make a living. Today, called Ayudha Puja in South India, people worship computers, software books, vehicles, and other machines.
- The Hindu lunar calendar decides when Navratri will happen each year. Usually, the festival starts on Pratipada, the first day of the lunar month of Ashwin, which is in September or October. Almost right after the Navratri festival ends, the festival of Dussehra starts.
- Ram Lila is a popular folk drama about the life of Lord Rama. In many parts of North and West India, the festival of Navratri festival is capped off by the burning of monumental Ravana effigies on Dussehra. This is a sign that Lord Ram won the battle against Ravana.
- According to a story, the Gods gave Goddess Durga nine days every year so she could visit her mother. People say that this festival celebrates how happy a mother and daughter are to meet each other.