After one year of waiting, again October has come with all its festivals. The clear sky, blooming flowers and a soothing breeze- all hail the oncoming carnival. Throughout the country, people get ready to celebrate Navratri with grandeur.
India is a country of diversity. The same festivals are celebrated in lots of different ways at separate parts of the country. Navratri is no exception to that. The whole country becomes ready to welcome Goddess Durga in its different forms. If Gujarat comes with Garba Raas, West Bengal is famous for its Durga Puja. So, there are, truly, different ways Navratri is celebrated. Celebrating Navratri festival in different ways also includes divergent rituals. But all rituals have one meaning. That is to pray to Goddess Durga to give power to win over evil.
People wait throughout the year for the festive season. Maybe there are many different ways Navratri is celebrated, but in every part of the country, the festival continues for nine days. On the tenth day, known as Dusshera or Bijoya Dashami, the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water. Each day of these nine days has its own significance. So, have a look how India is celebrating Navratri festival in different ways-
1. Durga Puja Of West Bengal- West Bengal with other eastern states celebrates Navratri as Durga Puja with splendor. The puja starts on the sixth day of the festival with ‘Bodhon’ (awakening the goddess) and continues till the tenth day. Here, Goddess Durga is treated as the daughter who comes back after long time from her in-law’s house.
2. Garba Raas It Gujarat- How different community is celebrating Navratri festival in different ways? In Gujarat, a clay pot is kept as the symbol of ‘garbha’ (the womb). Women dress in vibrant costumes and dance around the clay pot. Also Dandiya Raas is another traditional dance form performed during Navratri in Gujarat.
3. Bommai Golu Of Tamil Nadu- Here the well designed Golu dolls are decorated and displayed on odd numbered tiers like 3, 7, or 9 and they are worshipped as the goddesses and gods of folklore. Lamps are lighted and hymns are chanted throughout these nine days.
4. Batukamma Panduga At Andhra Pradesh- If northern and western India celebrate it with pomp and glitter, southern part keeps everything very sober. A colourful flower stack of seven layers is made with seasonal flowers. This stack is considered as the symbol of Devi Durga.
5. Navratri It Maharashtra- Though Garba ceremony is also organized in Maharashtra; there is something unique that happens during this festival. At this time, married women invite each other to their places and adorn themselves with vermillion (sindur), sweets, bangles, bindi etc. Obviously, this is one of the different ways Navratri is celebrated at different states.
6. Navratri at Kerala- Kerala is considered as one of the most literate states of India. Here, Navratri is celebrated only for the last three days. People keep their books for last two days in front of Goddess Saraswati and pray for knowledge and wisdom.
Generally, these are the different ways Navratri is celebrated by different communities. After nine days, the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in the holy water. States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh organize ‘Ramleela’ on the occasion of Dusshera on the tenth day of the festival. At Bengal, people exchange love and respect with sweets on ‘Bijoya Dashami’. Whatever the way is, this is the festival which is very close to the hearts of all Indians.