One of the best celebrated Hindu festivals of India, Navratri is festival of nine nights and is celebrated to worship the nine forms of Shakti that supports the entire cosmos, and is embodied as the Mother Goddess. These nine forms include Shailaputri, Bharmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kaal Ratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri.
As a matter of fact, Navratri is celebrated four times a year i.e. Vasanta Navaratri, Gupta Navaratri, Sharada Navaratri and Paush Navaratri. However, Vasanta Navaratri and Sharada Navaratri are considered to be the most important ones and celebrated with great fervour all across the nation. While Vasanta Navratri, celebrated during the month of March–April concludes into Ram Navmi, the birthday of Lord Rama, Sharada Navaratri also called the Maha Navratri culminates into Vijaydashmi or Dusshera, Lord Rama’s prayer to Goddess Durga before going on to war with Ravana, the demon king.
During Navratras, Devotees institute idols of Goddess Durga in their homes and worship and make her happy her for full nine days by fasting and other ways. Finally on the ninth day of Navratra Festival, the devotees prepare puri chana and halwa and feed little girls by offering them these delicious Prasad along with other prasads like sakariya, Mishri, batasha etc.
The Navratri festival is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. In west Bengal, huge idols of Goddess Durga slaying Demon Mahishasura is created and established in pandals where devotees gather in huge numbers to worship Maa Durga. For the Bengalis the last four days of Maha Navratra is of utmost importance.
In Gujrat, Navratri festival celebration includes playing Dandiya and Ras Garba dance where dancers dance in tune to captivating rhythmic beats, intermittent jingling sound of bells and clattering of sticks. In Kullu, the festival comes alive from the tenth day where huge processions of Gods placed in palanquins are organized.
So, this Navratra seek the grace and blessings of Maa Durga and lead a happy and peaceful life.
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