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Navaratri Celebration in India

By Staff

In Tamil Nadu, the first three days of the festival are dedicated to Lakshmi, Goddess of Beauty and Prosperity; the next three days to Durga, Goddess of Righteousness, and the last three days to Saraswati, Goddess of Music and Learning. In Andhra Pradesh the temple in the house is decorated with clay images of the Deities. A special sweetmeat or sweet rice coloured yellow with turmeric is made on every day to offer to the household gods.

In Maharastra on the first day of navaratri the idol of Yogeshvari, a benign form of Durga, is installed in the house and the Haldi-Kum kum ceremony is held. In Panjab people fast for seven days and on Ashtami, the eighth day, devotees break their fast by worshiping young girls who are supposed to be representatives of the Goddess herself by offering them the traditional food.

During this festival houses are adorned with dolls called 'Bommai Kolu' and colourful patterns made on the floor which is called rangoli. In Gujarat, Navaratri is celebrated with extremely colourful dances of Garbha and Dandiya-Rasa. These dances are performed around the traditionally decorated terracotta pot called the garbi that has a small diya burning inside signifying knowledge, or light meant to dissipate the ignorance, or darkness, within. Drummers accompany the dancers, and groups of singers sing songs handed down generations. In Rajasthan Navaratri is celebrated vibrantly. people welcome this festival with a happy heart, and waits for its arrival throughout the year. People celebrate it with dances and decorations.

The popularity of Navaratri is unmatched because it is one of the major Fairs and Festivals in India. It brings a gust of fresh air into the lives of man. The Navaratri, therefore, provides a break from monotonous routine life. Hence, Navaratri comes with the blessings of Goddess Durga, the slayer of the demon called Mahisasura.

Story first published: Saturday, October 20, 2007, 13:46 [IST]
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