Navratri, an auspicious Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, will commence on Tuesday, October 13 and as the name suggests, it is a 9-day festival and the nation is gearing up for series of events.
Devotees celebrate the festival to honour Goddess Durga and her nine forms, which are Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Maha Gowri and Siddhidayini.
These nine forms of Goddess Durga are said to symbolise creative energy and the feminine body with each form of the goddess has its own day dedicated to it.
‘Nav’ means nine and ‘ratri’ means night in Sanskrit, so the celebration lasts for nine nights. It concludes with the festival of Dussehra, on the 10th day. It is believed that Mother Durga visits her maternal home on the day after demolishing demon Mahishasura.
This year Dussehra falls on 22 October and as per the Hindu calender, the celebration begins on the first day of the month of Ashwin.
On Dussehra Lord Ram killed Ravana, which symbolises the victory of good over the evil. In many places, Kanya Poojan (worshipping girl child) is also done.
West Bengal and Gujarat are particularly known to celebrate the festival in a grand manner.