Navratri is not just the victory of good over evil but is also the celebration of the spirit of Indian culture and togetherness. Navratri, which means the nine auspicious days filled with fun, dance, and a lot of festivities all around. During this festival devotees not only offer prayers to Goddess Durga but also wear vibrant traditional costumes, sing folk songs and get indulged in folk dances such as Dandiya and Garba.
The Navratri festival commemorates the win of Goddess Durga over the Demon Mahishasura. The nine days of the festival have their significances. Each day of Navratri signifies something different:
- Day 1 of the festival is devoted to goddess Shailaputri, who is one of the avatars of Goddess Durga with the collective power of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva).
- Day 2 is devoted to goddess Brahmacharini, who is known for endowing happiness, prosperity, peace, and grace. She is considered as a way to attain moksha or emancipation.
- Day 3 is devoted to goddess Chandraghanta representing beauty, grace, and bravery.
- Day 4 is devoted to goddess Kushamunda, who is considered as the creator of the universe through laughter.
- Day 5 is devoted to goddess Skanda Mata, who is the mother Karthikeya or Skanda who was chosen as the leader by the gods in the war against the demons. The goddess represents the protecting power of a mother when it comes to her child.
- Day 6 is devoted to goddess Katyayani who is believed to be born to a great sage Kata as an incarnation of goddess Durga exhibiting immense courage.
- Day 7 is devoted to goddess Kalaratri, who is an incarnation of goddess Durga with a dark complexion, messy hair, and a courageous posture representing fierceness. However, when dressed in white, she represents peace and prayer.
- Day 8 is devoted to goddess MahaGouri representing prosperity, intelligence, peace, and calm.
- Day 9 is devoted to goddess Siddhidatri is known for her supernatural healing power. She represents a blissful state of mind.
All these nine days are celebrated with lots of fervor, dancing and fasting specifically in Northern India.
During the nine days, a Navratri special dance, Garba and Dandiiya, is performed by men and women in colourful and vibrant traditional attires. They dance to the tunes of the dhol (drum) and colliding dandiya sticks to create an even sound.
However, dandiya and Garba are not just the dance forms, but these represent the fight of goddess Durga and demon Mahishasura in a dramatized way. The dandiya sticks represent the sword of Goddess Durga and hence at the time this dance form is also known as “The Sword Dance.”
This year in 2019, the Navratri festivals begin on 29th September and end on 7th October. So make your Navratri special this year with dance, fun, and festivities!
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