One of the important festivals of Hindus, Navratri commences on Wednesday, October 10. It is made of two words, Nav meaning nine and Ratri meaning night. On these days goddess Durga and her nine avatars are worshipped. In a year, there are two Navratris which are celebrated by Hindus, the Vasant Navratri, and the Sharad Navratri. Indians across the country celebrate the festival with zeal and enthusiasm.
The nine avatars of Durga are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatari.
The first day of the auspicious festival starts with Ghatasthapna in which people sow seeds in Kalash which is decorated with kumkum, turmeric, and flowers. The shubh muhurat is from 11.51 am to 12.29 pm.
After taking bath, lord Durga is worshipped with the pure heart. An earthen pot is placed near the idol to grow Khetri and a red thread is tied around the pot. It is said that the more the barley grows, the more fortune it brings to the home.
On the first day, Devi Shailaputri is worshipped. Jasmine flowers are offered to her along with red coloured cloth piece. Devotees also chant, Om Devi Shailaputryai Namah, while doing the aarti.
During these nine nights of Navratri, people observe fast. Cultural programmes are organised, people depict the story of Lord Rama. On the eighth day, Kanya Pujan is observed in which minor girls are worshipped and offered prashad, food and sweets.
Significance of Navratri:
Navratri symbolises the victory of good over evil. During these nine days, devotees pray for inner strength and peace.
Vande Vanchhitalabhay chandrardhakritshekharam Vrisharu ..
Vrisharudham Shooldharam Shailputreem Yashasvineem.
On the 10th day, people celebrate Vijayadashami means Dusshera by burning huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna. This year, Dusshera falls on October 19.