Thursday, October 14, 2010

Navaratri – A Celebration of Traditions !

Festival of Nine Nights !
A Celebration of Success !
Victory of Good over Evil !
Worship of the Feminine Form of the Supreme !
A Time for Selfless acts and Prayers !

Also known as Dusshera, Navaratri (nine nights) is a major festival in India. It is celebrated for 10 days, from October 8 – 17, this year.
This festival is a tribute to the infinite power of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Shakti (Energy or Power) Known by various names as Amba, Ma Bhavani, Aparna, she is worshipped in various parts of India, with utmost reverence during this festival.

Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. In Western India, particularly in the state of Gujarat, it is celebrated with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Ras dance.
The state of West Bengal is synonymous with this festival. During this festival, huge idols of the Goddess alongwith other deities are displayed at various places, and worshipped.
In some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, many households create elaborate shelf displays of handmade clay dolls, called Bommalu kollu (display of dolls)

In South India, the Goddess is worshipped in three forms. During the first three nights, Durga devi (Shakti or the Powerful Mother), then Lakshmi devi (Goddess of prosperity) on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights, and finally Saraswati devi(Goddess of learning and wisdom) are revered, until the ninth night.

In North India, one of the nine aspects of the Goddess is venerated each day.

Vijayadashami, the triumphant tenth day celebrates the legendary victory of Goddess Durga over the evil demon, Mahisasura. It marks the end of Navaratri alongwith the immersion of the Durga deities, which are worshipped for nine days.
One has to witness the celebrations held in Mysore during this festival, for this is where the victory is said to have occurred. It is famous for the elaborate Dusshera festivities ! Check my post on ‘Palace of Lights – Mysore’

May good, triumph over evil, forever !