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Navratri Trivia

Navratri is nine nights dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti in Hindu Religion and in 2024 it will be observed from October 3, 2024 to October 12, 2024.

Navratri means nine nights.

The most popular Navratri is the one held during Ashwin Month (September – October). But there are also three other Navratri(s) in a Hindu calendar year. The most famous among this is the Chaitra Navratri (March – April). The other two Navratri(s) 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 Ravana. 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 Devi Mahatmya 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 Saraswati.

In 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.

In Gujarat, it is time for the Navratri Garba Dance or Dandiya Raas.

Navratri is Dashain in Nepal and the nine days of rituals begin with Kalash Sthapana.

In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Kerala, Navratri is dedicated to three goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. 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 Telangana, Navratri is also dedicated to Goddess Bathukamma.

In Karnataka, during the period the famous Mysore Dasara is held.

In Maharashtra, the nine days are dedicated to worship of various forms of Mother Goddess. The Tulja Bhavani Temple and the Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur attracts nearly a million people during the period.

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 Tirupati Tirumala Temple attracts thousands of people. Sri Balaji is taken around the streets on different Vahanas during the nine days.

In West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Tripura and Assam it is the time of the Durga Puja.

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.

You can also add to the information by posting it on the comment section or by sending your ideas and information at hindublog@gmail.com