A festive mood has gripped Hindus all over the world as they prepare to celebrate Navratri — the festival dedicated to the worship of goddess Durga. Celebrated across India and Nepal and the world over, Navratri is celebrated for nine nights and 10 days, during the course of which people worship the nine forms of Devi Durga. The 10th day is Vijayadashami or Dussehra, and then follows Diwali.
Navratris, mark the beginning of a festive season. There are, in total, five types of Navaratris — Vasantha Navratri (around March-April), Ashad Navratri (around June-July), Sharad Navratri (around September-October), Pausha Navratri (around December-january) and Magha Navratri (around January-February), but Sharad Navratri is celebrated with a lot more fervour and excitement than the others. One of the popular variations of the festival is Durga Puja, which is celebrated by Bengalis around the same time of the year.
Millions of people around the world celebrate Navratri festival, which is a nine days-nights festival, dedicated to goddess Shakti. Devotees worship nine forms of goddess Shakti to get the divine blessings of Devi Durga. During nine days and nine nights, goddess fought with demon Mahishasur and killed him on the tenth day. These nine sacred days represent the nine days of Navratri. During these nine sacred days, people perform worship, fast, and participate in Jagrans.
Nine Interesting Facts about Navratri Festival:
1- Navratri festival is celebrated “Five Times” in a year, i.e. Sharad Navratri, Chaitra Navratri, Ashada Navratri, Paush Navratri and Magh Navratri.
2- Navratri Dates have been set according to Hindu Lunar Calendar.
3- The most popular Navratri is Sharad Navratri which is celebrated in the month of Ashwin (September or October). Sharad Navratri is also known as Maha Navratri.
4- In Tamil Nadu, Navratri is known as “Golu”.
5- Nine incarnations of goddess Shakti are worshipped during Navratri. Nine goddess names are, Durga, Bhadrakali, Jagadamba, Annapurna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani, and Mookambika.
6- In Sanskrit language, the meaning of Navratri is “Nav” means NINE and “Ratri” means NIGHT.
7- Other than Goddess Durga, another legend of Navratri festival is Lord Rama who killed demon Ravana.
8- Other festival linked with Navratri festival are Rama Navami and Dussehra. On the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri, Rama navami is celebrated while after the end of nine days of Sharad Navratri Vijayadashmi (Dussehra) is celebrated.
9- During Navratri, in West Bengal, “Durga Puja” is a famous ritual, in Karnataka it is a Royal Festival.