What is Navratri?
Navratri or Navaratri is a nine-day festival observed by Hindu across the Globe, it is vastly celebrated in Indian Subcontinent. Basically, there are 4 seasons of Navratri but Sharad Navratri is observed the most. The festival is celebrated in the month of Ashvin according to the Hindu Calendar. Typically falls in the month of September and October according to Gregorian Calendar.
In the Northern States of India festival starts with Ram Lila and Dussehra which marks the victory of Lord Rama over the Demon King of Lanka “Ravana”. Whereas in the eastern states of India Durga Puja is Celebrated. Wherein Goddess Durga battles and defeats the demon Mahishasur to restore Dharma.
The Nine Days of Navratri 2017 Dates
- 21 September, 2017: Pratipada – Ghatasthapana , Shailputri Puja
- 22 September, 2017: Dwitiya – Brahmacharini Puja
- 23 September, 2017 : Tritiya – Chandraghanta Puja
- 24 September, 2017 : Chaturthi – Kushmanda Puja
- 25 September, 2017 : Panchami – Skandamata Puja
- 26 September, 2017 : Shasthi – Katyayani Puja
- 27 September, 2017 : Saptami – Kalaratri Puja
- 28 September, 2017 : Ashtami – MahaGauri Puja
- 29 September, 2017 : Navami – Siddhidatri Puja
- 30 September, 2017 Dashami – Navratri Parana, Durga Visarjan, Vijay Dashmi
How is Navratri Celebrated?
Navaratri is celebrated in various ways across India. Some people Fast some feast, during this period people Fast for the spiritual point of view and pray to get connected with mother goddess. There are some strict rules which an individual or devotee must follow if he decides to fast on Navratri for example onion, garlic, alcohol, rice, wheat flour and non-vegetarian food are strictly not allowed. You can consume fresh fruits, dry fruits, and milk products during the fast.
During the festival of Navratri people worship same Mother Goddess but in her various aspects. In the Eastern Part of India, Navaratri is celebrated as a Durga Puja festival and it is the most important festival in the Indian state of West Bengal. Whereas in the northern state of India Navratri is celebrated as a Ramlila event where the story of Ramayana is being performed by the artist. On the last day of Navratri comes the Dussehra, where the statue of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada are burned to celebrate the victory of God Rama over the evil Ravana and its army.
Navratri Festival in Gujarat And Garba Dance
In the State of Gujarat, Navratri is the prominent festival. On these day people fast for all nine days of Navratri and consume only liquid food. And performs the folk dance named “Garba” with devotional songs.
Garba is a dance form which is originated in the Indian state of Gujarat. Garba is performed in the circular move. Nowadays Garba is influenced by Dandiya Raas. Before performing the Garba both Men and Women wear colorful Costumes. Women wear Chaniya Choli which is designed with stars, mirrors, heavy embroidery and shells, etc.
Garba and Dandiya Raas is very popular in USA, Canada and the United Kingdom where people from Gujarati Community come together and hold their own Garba nights. In the USA, more than 20 universities have Garba Competition on Large Scale.