Navratri is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India. It is dedicated to Devi Durga, who represents feminine power. The festivities span over nine days and during this period, devotees worship the nine manifestations of the Mother Goddess (collectively known as Nava Durga). Every year of Navratri Utsav is a truly Khazana Khaas Palon Ka for people of Hindu religion.
Let us briefly know that Navratri is celebrated in a special way in nine states of India.
It is the state where the nine-day festival is celebrated with its original dance form called Raas Garba and Dandiya. The nine nights in the pujas here are also divided into three sections; the first was Durga, the goddess who destroyed the evil power represented by the demon Mahishasura and destroyer of human impurity; another is Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the third is for Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art.
Like the state of Gujarat, Maharashtra also celebrates a dance festival that lasts for nine days. For the people of Maharashtra, Navratri is considered to mean “new beginnings”. Hence it is also believed as a good time for people to invest in the business or buy new property.
On nine holy nights, a daily “Jagran” is held in Punjab. Also, a practice known as “Kanya Pujan” or “Kanchak” is celebrated in the state. On the last two days, devotees invite the young maidens and honour them with gifts of food and money. This practice is deliberated as worshiping Goddess Navadurga.
For Keralites, Navratri is primarily associated with education. In Kerala, Saraswati is worshiped as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge on the last three days of Sharada Navratri, in which books are worshipped. Books are kept in one’s own home, traditional nursery school, or temple for Ashtami Puja.
Bathukamma Panduga is celebrated during Navratri especially in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. ‘Batukamma Panduga’ means ‘Come Alive Mother Goddess’ in Telugu. These nine days of worship are dedicated to Goddess Shakti; the feminine principle of divine energy and specially observed with great magnificence. Women here especially wear silk sarees and gold ornaments during Navratri
It is the most important and popular festival for Bengalis. The last four days of the fest; Saptami Ashtami Navami and Dashami or as we commonly call Dussehra is the most important here. From the sixth day, beautiful pandals are prepared with a magnificent idol of Goddess Durga. Durga Puja is a very old tradition of West Bengal.
The state of Himachal Pradesh has a tradition of organizing a “Mela” every year during Navratri. Mela is a traditional event where people meet their relatives and friends. Navratri is celebrated with tremendous devotion by the people of this state like in other states of the country. During this festival, devotees visit various shrines in Himachal Pradesh to worship Goddess Durga.
The state has its unique manners to celebrate this nine days long festival. First, three days of the festival are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the next three days to Durga, and the last three days to Saraswati. Figurines or traditional dolls called Kolu or Golu are arranged at homes, shops and temples. On the 10th day, a sculpture of the demon “Ravana” is burnt to celebrate “the victory of good over evil.”
Navratri is also known as Mysore Dussehra or Nadda Habba in Karnataka. According to historical records, the Dussehra festival began in the fifteenth century with the kings of Vijayanagara. It is a ten days festival on which the tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami means a victory of truth or good over evil. Because that was the day on which Hindu Goddess Chamundeswari killed Mahishasura.
Navratri celebrates the defeat of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga and signifies the victory of good over evil.
For many people Navratri is a divine time of religious reflection and fasting as well as mass Garba dancing. In fasting, rituals include following a strict vegetarian diet as well as abstaining from meat and certain spices. In many parts of India, people fast during Navratri. On the last day they perform Pooja and break their fasting.