Navratri 2023: Tales Of The Auspicious Hindu Festival In Different States

Navratri 2023: Tales Of The Auspicious Hindu Festival In Different States

As the name suggests, Navratri spans nine nights and ten days, during which various forms of the Hindu goddess Durga are worshipped.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, October 14, 2023, 01:06 PM IST
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Durga Puja at Kolkata in the year 2022 |

Navratri, also spelt as Navaratri, is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India and by Hindus worldwide. The term "Navratri" is derived from two words: "Nav," meaning nine, and "Ratri," meaning nights. As the name suggests, Navratri spans nine nights and ten days, during which various forms of the Hindu goddess Durga are worshipped.

The festival is celebrated in India with pomp and fervour, with different rituals and significance across different states. Here are the few states and the tales behind the celebrations:

West Bengal

The state that has just received a UNESCO tag for Durga Puja celebrates Navratri as an homage to Hindu Goddess Durga. According to Hindu mythology, the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil as goddess Durga kills demon king Mahishasur, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

During this period, as per the old Bengali tales, it is believed that the goddess descends to her earthly abode to visit her parents house along with her four kids—Ganesha, Karthik, Laxmi, and Saraswati—and on the 10th day, Lord Shiva visits Earth to take them back home after their holiday.

Gujarat

During the Navratri festival in Gujarat, devotees participate by observing fasts and engaging in the renowned traditional dance known as Garba. The festivities culminate with a ritual where young girls are offered a meal, and they are bid farewell with gifts or money.

Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Ramleela performances hold significant importance during the Navratri celebration. These outdoor dramas vividly narrate the epic stories and adventures of Lord Rama. As locals and tourists come together to watch these dramatic sagas, they are treated to a mesmerizing display of devotion and theatrical excellence, immersing themselves in the tales of Lord Rama. That ends with the Ravan dehan on Dussehra at a ground.

Chhattisgarh

In Bastar, the tribal communities celebrate Navratri in a unique and extended manner. The festival, also known as Bastar Dussehra, includes the procession of idols representing Devi Maoli, the tribal goddess, and her sisters, dating back 500 years. These festivities span a remarkable 75 days, concluding on the thirteenth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing moon) in the month of Ashwin with the significant Muria Durbar ritual.

Karnataka

In Karanataka, the festival is celebrated as Mysore Dasara, which is a regal and joyous affair spanning ten days. The festival signifies when Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon king Mahishasura after a fierce battle. The magnificent Mysore Palace is bedecked with over 100,000 dazzling lights and even features elephants, vibrant folk dancers, and a splendid exhibition of culture and tradition in a grand procession.

Maharashtra

Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures, where we get to see Durga Puja pandals, Dandiya and Garba nights, Ramleela, and even some other rituals. But Maharashtra has a different significance for Navratri festivities. The Maharashtrian people worship Serawali Mata, an incarnation of Durga.

Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, Navratri is commemorated through the Kolu tradition. Homes are transformed as step-like displays featuring meticulously arranged dolls and figurines, depicting mythological narratives, which infuse life into the festive atmosphere. These creative arrangements foster a spirit of community and artistic expression, with families and friends gathering at each other's homes to admire these artistic presentations.

Himachal Pradesh

In Himachal Pradesh, Kullu Dussehra is a grand celebration filled with enthusiasm and is truly a spectacle to behold. Spanning seven days, the picturesque valley transforms into a vibrant hub of spiritual and cultural festivities. A highlight of this event is the splendid parade, where the idol of Lord Raghunath is elegantly carried on a magnificent chariot, offering a mesmerizing sight to all who partake in the festivities.

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