Navratri is nine nights dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti in Hindu Religion and in 2011 it will be observed from September 28, 2011 to October 5, 2011.
The most popular Navratri is the one held during Ashwin Month (September – October). But there are also three other Navratris in a Hindu calendar year. The most famous among this is the Chaitra Navratri (March – April). The other two Navratris are Magh Navratri and Ashada Navratri.
A popular belief is that the Navratri during Ashwin month (September – October) was started by Sri Ram when he invoked Goddess Durga before going into battle with Ravan. Originally, Mother Goddess was invoked during the Chaitra Month (March – April)
Navratri is also written as Navratras, Navaratri and Navarathri.
The reason for observing Navratri is found in the Markandeya Purana. The chapters 81 to 93 in the Markandeya Purana talks about the slaying of demon Mahishasura or Mahisha by Durga and it is referred as Devimahatmya and is recited during the Navaratri. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
In many regions in North and Western parts of nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during the period.
Rituals and prayers during the period are dedicated primarily to the three forms of Mother Goddess - Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi.
North India, Navratri is a period of fasting. It begins with the Ghata Sthapana in some regions. Young girls are worshipped on the 8th and 9th day.
Gujarat, it is time for the Navratri Garba Dance or Dandya Ras.
Navratri is Dashain in
and the nine days of rituals begin with Kalash Sthapana. Nepal
In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Kerala, Navratri is dedicated to three goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Apart from the Navratri fasting ritual and nine-days of puja, the most important ritual here is the Bommai Golu – creating the royal court of Goddess Durga with dolls.
In Andhra Pradesh, Navratri is also dedicated to Goddess Bathukamma.
In Karnataka, during the period the famous Mysore Dasara is held.
Maharashtra, the nine days are dedicated to worship of various forms of Mother Goddess. The Tulja Bhavani Temple and the Mahalaxmi Temple at attracts nearly a million people during the period. Kolhapur
In Kerala, Navratri is mainly dedicated to worship of Goddess Saraswati. Navratri classical music concerts are organized during the period. The most important event during the period is the Ayudha Puja on the ninth day and Vidyarambham or initiation of children into the world of letters and learning on Vijayadasami or the 10th day.
Navratri Brahmotsavams at the
attracts thousands of people. Sri Balaji is taken around the streets on different Vahanas during the nine days. Tirupati Tirumala Temple
In West Bengal, Orissa, Tripura and
it is the time of the Durga Puja. Assam
Food offered in the form of Prasad to ‘Mother Goddess’ is an essential part of Navaratri festival. Those people who observe Navratri Vrat (fasting) also prepare traditional Navratri dishes which are first offered to Goddess and then shared by family members, neighbors and friends.
This Trivia is incomplete… attempting to capture the various forms and rituals associated with Mother Goddess Shakti is in itself foolishness…we will keep on adding to the list as new information is received.
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