India is the land of festivals, and Navratri is one of the most important festivals celebrated all over India. By far, Navratri is the longest festival, as it is spread over a period of nine days. During these nine days, the devotees worship nine various forms of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Durga is believed to be the most powerful Goddess, with the combined powers of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. She was able to defeat the strongest demons of all time, who were thought to be invincible, until Goddess Durga came in, and defeated that devil.
From then, till now, Goddess Durga is celebrated, in her nine most powerful avatars, throughout the nine days of Navratri. It is one of the most beautiful and mind-blowing festivals, where the celebrations are done in the grandest and most royal way. Maa Durga is the epitome of power, strength and divine feminism. To date, she is the symbol of fierceness and power, and every woman is inspired by her. She is a true inspiration.
Navratri includes a lot of rituals and customs that are quite elaborate. It is also called by different names, like in most parts of India, like Gujrat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, it is called Navratri and in West Bengal, it is known as Durga Pujo, which is yet another famous festival in India. It has different customs and rituals than Navratri, but both these festivals are held at the same time and they worship Goddess Durga.
To make it easy, we have listed down all the customs and rituals associated with Navratri. This would help the devotees who want to know more about Navratri. After all, it is a beautiful festival.
9 days, 9 avatars of Goddess Durga
As we have already mentioned, Navratri celebrates nine different forms of Goddess Durga. Now, we will get into the details and introduce these nine different Goddesses, or forms of Maa Durga to you all. Let’s dive right in:
Day one of Navratri is celebrated to worship Shailaputra Devi, who is also known as the daughter of the God of Mountains.
Day two of Navratri is celebrated to worship Brahmacharini Devi, who symbolizes the journey of Goddess Paravati, to marry Lord Shiva. She went through a tough time, but never gave up on her devotion.
Day three of Navratri is celebrated to worship Chandraghanta Devi, who has a crescent moon on her forehead, and she keeps her third eye open.
Day four of Navratri is celebrated to worship Kushmanda Devi, who is idolized as the form of Devi Durga, who has eight hands and rides a horse.
Day one of Navratri is celebrated to worship Skandamata Devi, who is known as the warrior Goddess, carrying her son Kartike.
Day six of Navratri is celebrated to worship Katyayani Devi, who has four hands and rides a lion.
Day seven of Navratri is celebrated to worship Kalratri Devi, who is the most furious and destructive form of Goddess Durga, also popularly known as Kali. She is the strongest among all the other forms.
Day one of Navratri is celebrated to worship Mahagauri Devi, who is the epitome and embodiment of peace, intelligence and poise.
Day nine of Navratri is celebrated to worship Siddhidatri Devi, who symbolizes the tranquillity and beauty of nature.
Rituals and customs in Navratri
Navratri has an elaborate set of rituals, and we have listed all of those in this article so that the devotees find it easy to understand everything. Let’s dive right into those rituals:
In a nutshell, Navratri is the brightest and happiest festival of all time, and it just sets the mood. This is one of the biggest festivals in India, and melas and fairs are held during Navratri. There might be many rituals and customs related to Navratri, which differ in different parts of India, but the essence of the festival remains the same, and it is the faith in the heart of the devotees that makes Navratri so special.