Different Ways Of Celebrating Navratri

By Debdatta Mazumber

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 in different 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 in. Celebrating this festival in different ways also includes various rituals. However, all these rituals aim at pleasing the Goddess.

Navratri every year falls during the Shukla Paksha (also known as Devi Paksha) in the month of October. This year, it will be observed from October 10 to October 18. Durga Puja shall be observed from October 15 to October 19, wherein October 19 will be observed as Dussehra throghout the country. 

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Rituals Of Navratri In India

People wait throughout the year for the festive season. Though there are many different ways in which Navratri is celebrated, but the festival is observed for nine days in every part of the country. On the tenth day, known as Dusshera or Bijoya Dashami, the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water. Each of these nine days has its own significance. Have a look at different ways of celebrating Navratri in India.

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Different Ways In Which Navratri Is Celebrated

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 to her native place after long time,  from her in-law’s house.

2. Garba Raas In Gujarat-  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.

Significance Of Each Day In Navratri

Different Ways In Which Navratri Is Celebrated

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 using seasonal flowers. This stack is considered as a symbol of Devi Durga.

Different Ways In Which Navratri Is Celebrated

5. Navratri It Maharashtra- Though Garba ceremony is organized in Maharashtra as well; there is something unique that happens in Maharashtra during this festival. Here, married women invite each other to their places and adorn themselves with vermillion (sindur), sweets, bangles, bindi etc. 

Different Ways In Which Navratri Is Celebrated

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6. Navratri at Kerala- Kerala is considered gods own country. 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. This is believed to bring good luck as well as righteousness. 

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. In Bengal, people exchange love and respect and distribute sweets on 'Bijoya Dashami’. In whatever way it is celebrated, this festival is very close to the hearts of all Indians.

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