Devi Navratri, a nine-day celebration of feminine power and strength in Hindu culture. Begins on the 9th day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashvin (September–October). This year it began on September 26th and will conclude on October 5th. It’s not only an occasion to express gratitude to the goddesses in Hindu mythology but also to pay homage to women in general. In honouring the Devi Navratri festival, we celebrate goddesses who are symbols of divine energy and love and who guide us through life’s challenges.
The importance of Devi Navaratri
The Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra or Dashain, is a festival in India that celebrates victory over the demon Mahishasura by goddess Durga. It is a day when friends and family gather together, celebrating their unity and faith in divinity. On this festive occasion, people perform various rituals and acts of devotion. Such as reading scriptures and singing devotional songs dedicated to Goddess Shakti. One traditional act that signifies celebration is putting a mark on one’s forehead with holy ash.
Another tradition includes burning an effigy of Mahishasura, which is believed to represent all forms of evil. As it is also believed that Goddess Durga destroys all evil during this auspicious time. Many devotees offer prayers at temples on Vijayadashami for their wishes and desires to be fulfilled. They light lamps in her honour, present offerings of fruits and flowers to her, and pray for her blessings. Women in some parts of India dress up like Goddess Durga. While they go around collecting food from neighbours’ houses as part of another custom on Vijayadashami.
How can we celebrate this festival?
Navratri is a festival for Hindu and Jain people, also called Dashahara. It lasts for nine days and is centred around Goddess Durga, who symbolizes victory in overcoming evil. The night before Navrati begins, Hindus welcome Goddess Durga with puja. Families create elaborate mandalas out of rice flour or dough that are eaten by hungry children who chant Labha labia as they eat each grain as an offering to Goddess Durga. Devotees believe she will be pleased by their offerings and grant them everything they wish for from peace, health, wealth, and prosperity.
Goddess Durga is honoured on this day through her different incarnations: Sati-the daughter of Daksha; Parvati-the wife of Shiva; Lakshmi-the goddess of wealth; Ganga-the goddess of the River Ganges. Hindus across India honour Goddess Durga during Navratri. They do so in their own way, using different idols and rituals depending on which form of Goddess Durga they want to honour.
Why do we celebrate it?
Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra or Dashain is celebrated on the 10th day in the Hindu calendar and is an auspicious occasion for Hindus. Vijayadashami is mainly a ceremonial festival that also has ritualistic significance for Hindus. The Hindu scriptures say that it celebrates Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana’s ten heads. Moreover, this celebration symbolizes liberation from all vices and evil tendencies. And like Diwali, Vijayadashami heralds the end of one year’s cycle and begins another year’s cycle. Hence it signifies hope for rebirth in an improved state with more knowledge, higher values, and greater spiritualism. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
On Vijayadashami, people rejoice by making new resolutions for their life ahead. They take a holy dip in the river Ganga and pray at the temples of Vishnu to mark the beginning of a new journey ahead. They celebrate by performing rituals such as giving food to animals, distributing clothes among poor people. And lighting earthen lamps before statues of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
What are the ways to celebrate this festival?
Navrati begins nine days before Dussehra. During this time, devotees will honour Goddess Devi by chanting and praying to her, bathing in sacred rivers, fasting, and worshipping cows. On the day of Dussehra, Hindus will offer feasts to Gods which symbolize good over evil. People celebrate Navrati every year as a way to meditate on peace and love for all beings. As well as a time for self-reflection and honouring one’s spiritual journey. The word Navratri comes from the Sanskrit word nav meaning nine and Ratri meaning night. It is considered a most auspicious time to do puja (worship) during these nights because one’s deeds are multiplied many times.
The festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness with festivities that are enjoyable for all ages. If you are looking for a way to make your children learn about Hinduism. Or need some guidance yourself, use this opportunity as an educational opportunity. There are many sites online where you can find information about celebrating the nine nights of Navratri with your family. Explore how they’ve been celebrated throughout history.
Why should women worship goddesses?
Worshipping goddesses is a practice that has been done for centuries. They are seen as symbols of power, and they give us wisdom and peace in times when we need them most. Furthermore, Goddess Durga means safety and security. She is viewed as invulnerable and fearless with two hands carrying weapons while seated on a lion with four other arms. Her vehicle or mount is the lion. Goddess Durga also symbolises Shakti, which is symbolic of strength and courage. So honouring goddesses during this time reminds us that females can be powerful beings just like males!
Furthermore, Goddess Durga represents mothers and wives who provide protection to their families. It’s a celebration of women’s empowerment that takes place all over India every year. It not only honours feminine deities. But is an occasion where everyone comes together to celebrate diversity through food, culture, music, and dance. It’s a joyous occasion celebrated by both men and women alike because everyone knows how much good these goddesses do for the world around them!
How does celebrating this festival help us in our lives?
Dussehra and Durga Puja are very important in Hindu culture, honouring the symbolic vision of divinity. People all over India will be participating in festivities including spending days fasting and making offerings to gods, honouring goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati, and Durga. With prayers, chanting, and festivities lasting 10 days culminating on the last day with Dussehra-a time for reflection about our past deeds- people get a chance to celebrate light overcoming darkness. The 10th day is called Diwali- which symbolizes the victory of good over evil with drums, lights, and fireworks.
The festivity lasts five days where people dress up as demons and try to frighten the demon king Ravana before he kidnaps Rama’s wife Sita. Dussehra marks the end of this celebration when lord Rama finally kills Ravana by cutting off his head with his bow. He receives special praise from Lord Shiva, who honours him by reciting the hymn Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram which praises him with 108 names. Devotees return home after nine days of worship during Durga puja to welcome Goddess Durga back into their homes and families.
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