|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|1. What is Navaratri ?|
|2. The story behind Navaratri|
|3. 9 Days of Navaratri|
|4. Navaratri Foods|
Navaratri is a festival of excitement and colour, a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate. Navaratri is dedicated solely to Goddess Durga who epitomises the feminine power or Shakti. Navaratri is a celebration of all her nine avatars.
Navaratri is derived from two Sanskrit words—’nava’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning night. As the name itself says its a festive that is being celebrated for nine days mainly in the evening.
THE STORY BEHIND NAVARATRI :
Navaratri is about the battle that happened place between goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura, who was egoistic and caused massive destruction. He attacked Trilok (Earth, Heaven and Hell), and the Gods were not being able to defeat him.
She fought with him for 15 days, and the demon kept changing his form. Mahishasura would take various forms to confuse Goddess Durga. Finally, when he turned into a buffalo is when Goddess Durga killed him with her trishul. It is on the day of Mahalaya that Mahishasura was killed
Hence, she is called Mahishasuramardini, meaning the one who eliminated Mahishasur. She is believed to have the combined powers of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer). She is the consort of Lord Shiva and the mother of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya.
All the nine days of the festive are dedicated to each distinct avatar of the goddess and each of these days has a significant colour attached to it, which the devotees are expected to wear while taking part in the festivities.
During this period Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped as three different manifestations of Shakti, or cosmic energy.
Devotees keep a fast during the nine days, spend the day reading the Devi Mahatmyaham and other holy mantras dedicated to the Mother Goddess. Later during the evening, after the aarti, people take part in Dandiya and Garbha, a traditional folk dance performed collectively by people.
check out for various video of the scene depicting goddess Durga killing Mahishasura : https://www.youtube.com/
9 DAYS OF NAVARATRI :
|Day 1||SHAILPUTRI||She is the embodiment of the collective power of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. It is in this form that the goddess was worshipped as the consort of Shiva. The colour of the first day is red–it depicts action and vigour.|
|Day 2||BRAHMCHARINI||The one who practices devout austerity. She is blissful and endows happiness, peace, prosperity and grace upon all devotees who worship her. Filled with bliss and happiness, she is the way to emancipation or moksha. The colour of the second day is royal blue, since it’s synonymous with a calm-yet-powerful energy.|
|Day 3||CHANDRAGHANTA||CHANDRAGHANTA: She represents beauty and grace and is worshipped on the third day for peace, tranquillity and prosperity in life. She is the apostle of bravery and possesses great strength. The colour of the day is yellow.|
|Day 4||KUSHMUNDA||She is considered the creator of the universe. It is believed that Kushmunda created the universe through a bout of laughter and made it verdant with vegetation. Hence, the colour of the day is green.|
|Day 5||SKAND MATA||She is the mother of Skanda, or Karthikeya, who was chosen by the gods as their commander-in-chief in the war against the demons. She is accompanied by Skanda in his infant form. The colour of the day is grey, as it indicates the vulnerability of a mother who can turn into a storm cloud when the need arises to protect her child.|
|Day 6||KATYAYANI||Katyayani was born to the great sage, Kata, as an avatar of Durga. Dressed in orange, she exhibits immense courage. Hence, the colour of the day is orange.|
|Day 7||KALRATRI||She has a dark complexion, dishevelled hair and a fearless posture. She has three eyes that shine bright, with flames emanating from her breath. She is black like the goddess Kali. She is the most fierce form of goddess Durga, and she is dressed in white, a colour that represents peace and prayer. Thus, the colour of the day is white.|
|Day 8||MAHA GAURI||Maha Gauri is intelligent, peaceful and calm. It is said that due to her long austerities in the deep forests of the Himalayas, her colour transformed from white to back. However, later, when Shiva cleaned her with the waters of the Ganga, her body regained its beauty and she came to be known as Maha Gauri, which means extremely white. The colour of the day is pink, denoting hope and a fresh start.|
|Day 9||SIDDHIDATRI||She has supernatural healing powers. She has four arms and is always in a happy state of mind. She blesses all gods, saints, yogis, tantriks and all devotees as a manifestation of the mother goddess. The goddess is shown to be in a blissful state, just like the sky on a clear day. Thus, the colour of the day is sky blue, representing wonderment about the beauty of nature.|
NAVARATRI FOODS :
To celebrate a good harvest and to propitiate the nine planets, women also plant nine different kinds of food grain seeds in small containers during these nine days and then offer the young saplings to the goddess.
Feasts of great variety and delicacy are offered to guests and family during the nine days.
- * Fried or boiled potatoes
- * Kadhi prepared with kuttu atta and sea salt
- * Aloo tikki
- * Banana chips
- * Makhane ki sabzi
- * Fruits and fruit juices
- * Sabudana kheer
- * Curd
- * Lassi
- * Kuttu atta roti with kaddu sabzi or aloo sabzi
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