Navratri 2022: Navratri is an auspicious Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is a symbolic celebration of nine nights and is celebrated with great enthusiasm across Northern and Eastern India. The celebration is fun-filled one with several dance performances, variety of special recipes and also prayers offered to Goddess Durga. As per Hindu calendar, Hindus commemorate four seasonal Navratri named Chaitra Navratri, Magha Gupta Navratri, Ashadha Gupta Navratri and Sharad Navratri. Sharad Navratri is usually celebrated in September and October. This year Sharad Navratri will be celebrated on September 26 with Ghatasthapana and end on October 5 with Vijay Dashmai and Durga Visarjan.
The word Navratri is derived from Sanskrit word that translates ‘Nava’ as nine and ‘Ratri’ as night. As per Hindu scriptures and beliefs, the festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It was believed that Goddess Durga fought with demon Mahishasur (who represents egosim) for nine days and the final day, when she beheaded demon, it is called Vijay Dashmi.
SIGNIFICANCE AND CELEBRATIONS
The festival is popularly celebrated in different states of India with great enthusiasm and zeal. Durga Puja is another name for the festival. While Hindus all over the country celebrate the festival, Gujarati and Bengali communities hold grand celebrations. Dussehra is the final day, when day-long prayers are offered to Goddess Durga. In each state, the day is known by a different name. It’s also known as Navami or Vijayadashami. Navaratri, also known as Navadurga Parva, is believed to be the most auspicious time to worship Shakti (divine power) as Goddess Durga.
Ghatasthapana or Kalashsthapana Puja is one of the important rituals during Navratri festival. Ghatasthapana is believed to mark the beginning of the nine days of Navratri. Kalashsthapana Puja is performed to invoke Goddess Shakti. In certain parts of the country, Kanya Puja is performed, which worships nine females representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga, It also includes a ritual in which girls’ feet are washed to show respect and are given gifts. The festival is being dedicated to female God, women are worshipped on these nine days in certain communities. The final day of Navratri is Dussehra, which commemorates Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. As a result, the festival represents the triumph of good over evil. On this day, Ravana’s effigies are burned. People pray to weapons and other objects of power as well.