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Vasant Navratri

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Introduction:

Navratri is celebrated five times a year. But The Sharad Navratri and the Vasant Navratri are the most important Navratri. The Vasant Navratri is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the month of Chaitra (March–April) and is celebrated during the Shukla Paksha. The beginning of this Navratri also marks the start of the New Year as per the Hindu Legendary lunar calendar (Vikram Samvat). This is celebrated during Vasant Ritu (beginning of summer) (March- April). This is also known as Chaitra Navratri.  Navratri will start from 31st March 2014. God Ram and Hanuman are also worshiped with Maa Durga during Navratri. As god Ram took birth on the auspicious ninth day of Navratri it is also celebrated as Ram Navami.

Navratri festival is the joyous way of worshipping Goddess Durga. Navratri The festival is celebrated all over the country with joy and fervour. ‘Nav’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night. The festival is celebrated over a period of nine nights and 10 days.

 

Significance of Navratri festival:

Festival of Navratri is full of lights, joy and festivity. Hindus celebrate this with devotion and enthusiasm throughout India. The celebration is carried on for ten days and the last four days are very important. Navratri means nine nights and so the tenth day Goddess Durga, who is worshipped throughout the nine days, is immersed in holy water after puja. Each and every day has its importance and meaning.

Navratri festival is celebrated twice a year, though the one that is celebrated in September or October is well-known and celebrated with extreme passion and enthusiasm. Some Hindus believe that every night one form of Goddess is worshipped while some believe that three forms of Goddess are worshipped and they are the trinity of God. The celebration varies from one state to another although.

 

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How Navratri is celebrated?

Navratri Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout India. It is celebrated in different ways in different parts of India. In North India, Navratri is celebrated with much devotion by fasting on all nine days accompanied with worshipping the Mother Goddess in all her nine forms. The Chaitra Navratri concludes in Ram Navami and the Sharad Navratri concludes in Durga Pooja and Dussehra. All temples are specially decorated with flowers and adorned with ornaments. In Uttar Pradesh and other northern states, nine days fair are conducted where people come in large numbers. The Kullu Dussehra of Himachal Pradesh is particularly famous in the northern part of India.

In Western India especially in Gujarat and Mumbai people celebrate the festival with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance.

In the East, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja which is the biggest festival of the Bengalis. People observe fast and worship all the nine forms of Goddess Durga especially Kaali, laxmi and Saraswati. Puja Pandals are organized from the seventh day of the Navratri fill the tenth day where big Statues of Goddess Durga are placed and worshipped. People sing, dance and celebrate the festival with great joy, and Excitement.

Though rituals and modes of performing Puja differ from region to region but generally a Puja Thali (Plate) is kept in front of Goddess Durga. This usually contains five fruits, flowers, and an oil lamp with pure Ghee. This oil lamp is kept burning on all the nine days of the Navratri Festival. Aarti (Devotional Song dedicated to the Goddess) is sung, mantras are chanted and prayers are performed in the mornings and evenings throughout the Navratri Festival.

On the last day, devotees break their fast. ‘Kanya Pujan’ is performed in which nine little girls are worshipped with great devotion. These nine girls represent the nine incarnations of the divine Mother Goddess.

 

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