October 8, 2016: From 9 days fasting in the north, to worshipping the tools in the south. From parties hosted by Falguni Pathak in the west to the magnificent Durga Pooja in the east. No doubt, that the Hindu Festival Navratri is the paradigm of Unity in Diversity in Indian culture.
The festival, though celebrated in a distinct way all across the country, has the same spirit everywhere i.e., celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It helps us purify our body as well as our spirit. The tenth day of Navratri is known as Vijayadashmi. Twenty days later, the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated.
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Navratri is one of the most propitious and celebrated Hindu festivals. This year, this sacred festival is celebrated in the first week of October i.e., from 1st to 10th October.
Each day of Navratri is dedicated to a re-incarnation of Goddess Durga. The avatars of Goddess Durga are as follows:
i. Shailaputri Devi: Also known as Sati or Parvati. She is the daughter of the Himalayas and the embodiment of the Tridev. Yellow is the colour of the day.
ii. Bharmacharini: She gives the path to achieve moksha. She gives the strength to fast during Navratri.Green is the colour of the day.
iii. Chandraghanta: The enchanting Goddess who fought valiantly against demons. She has a Chandra or a half moon on her temple in the shape of a ghanta. Grey is the colour of the day.
iv. Kushmanda: She is the maker of the world. It is said that she filled the vacant dark cosmos with her light. Orange is the colour of the day.
v. Skanda Mata: She rewards her followers with salvation, abilities, wealth and fortunes. White is the colour of the day.
vi. Katyayani: Daughter of Guru Kata. Red is the colour of the day.
vii. Kalaratri: The three-eyed Goddess with breath consisting of terrible flames. Blue is the colour of the day.
viii. Maha Gauri: She is intellectual and calm. Pink is the colour of the day.
ix. Siddhidatri: She has curative capabilities. She is the Goddess success and excellence. Purple is the colour of the day.
Though the majority of people restrict the consumption of meat during Navratri, animal slaughter is part of the rite in many places across the nation. Every other state has its own specific ceremony to sacrifice the animals. Few people sacrifice goats, chicken while some other sacrifice water buffalo, rams, etc.
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Navratri is celebrated to pray to the reincarnation of Goddess Shakti. Each one of the forms signifies something profound. Each mother Goddess teaches us something that we need to retain in our life to replenish and renew our essence. We hope that this Navratri brings contentment and serenity to everyone.
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