Navratri festival is celebrated across India and Nepal to worship nine forms of Hindu Goddess Shakti on each of the nine days of the Navratri. Nava is actually means nine and ratri means nights. This festival is celebrated for nine days which is followed by Vijayadashmi or Dussehra on the tenth day. Diwali is celebrated exactly 20 days after Navratri.
Each day of the Navratri is dedicated to a form of Goddess Shakti and each day people worship the form of Devi and take blessings from it.
The nine forms of Devi in Navratri are, Shailaputri Maa, Brahmacharini, Chnadraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri.
Each day of Navratri also represents a spiritual color. Red is the color for the first day. Goddess Shailaputri, is a form of Goddess Shakti, named after her father Shail, Himalaya. The Goddess is worshiped on the first day of Navratri and the devotees take blessings form her for happiness in their life.
On the first day of Navratri, which is also called as Ghatasthapana especially in Maharashtra, Shailaputri Devi, a form of Goddess Shakti is worshiped. For Ghatasthapana, the ladies get an earthen pot and put clay and water into it. Later, the foodgrains were sown into it and they let them sprout for nine days.
In Gujarat, the events of Garba and Dandiya Ras are organized throughout the state where people celebrate the festival with playing Garba and dancing around.
Although various Navratri festival appears in a year, according to Hindu panchangam, the Sharadiya Navaratra which comes before the autumn, is most popular. Navratri festival also means the start of the winter season.
By Prajakt K.