Navratri 2017: With Navratri just around the corner, devotees across the country are gearing up to welcome Maa Durga and the festive feel is already in the air. Navratri is one such festival which is celebrated with much vigour and passion in most parts of the country. The puja begins with Ghatasthapana, a ritual that symbolises women power. Navratri refers to the nine auspicious nights during which nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped by Hindus. Though different regions have their own way of celebrating it, this is one of the most awaited festivals of the year. Every religion, community or state have their respective way of observing it and you will be surprised to know how people across the country celebrate Navaratras. Here are a few:
Eastern India and West Bengal- Durga Puja
Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja in West Bengal and is one of the most important festivals of the region. Thousands of pandals are made in which temporary idols of Maa Durga are placed and the five days, Panchami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are especially celebrated with a lot of reverence. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil where Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura in a nine-day long battle. Apart from West Bengal, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, eastern Nepal, Assam, Tripura and nearby regions.
Navratri is one of the main festivals of Gujarat. Navratri is celebrated in Gujarat for nine days in which people religiously fast and abstain from eating grain. Besides this, Navratri is a lot about dance and music. Dandiya and Garba are the main two forms of dance that are seen, according to india.com. It is believed that Dandiya is performed in dedication to Durga and is a mock representation of the fight between Goddesses and Mahishasura who was a demon killed by Durga, according to india.com.
South India- Kolu
The celebration of Navratri in South is a bit different. Down South friends and guests are invited to have a look at the Kolu which is basically an exhibition of various dolls and figurines, according to Indian Express. This is very competitive among young girls who along with their mothers decorate the dolls. Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati too are worshipped for three days each. Gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets are exchanged between the friends and neighbours, according to Indian Express.