Navaratri is derived from nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. so it is a celebrations that lasts over nine nights. Today, I bring to you five fun & fascinating facts about Navaratri (not including its definition or word origin!)
This festival is my favorite one, more than the sparkling, sweet and snack filled Diwali, more than well, all the others we celebrate (including the ones we adopted over the years). While the facts listed are not among the main reasons for this favoritism, they contribute in their own way to add to the fascination of this festival for me!!!
So, here you go,
Five Fun & Fascinating Facts About the Navaratri Festival
- It occurs five times a year. However, Sharad Navaratri celebrated in the fall/autumn (sharad meaning autumn in Hindi) is the most popular and widely celebrated one. The season/time of the year is the deciding factor for the name of each Navaratri!! People across India celebrate some of these Navrataris more grandly than others.
- Three sets of three days each make up for the total nine days of Navaratri. The first three days are for Goddess Durga, the fierce one, who helps destroy all evils and flaws. The second three days are for Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity in all things. For the last three days, we worship Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. We need all these three – strength from Durga, wealth (not just monetary) from Lakshmi, and knowledge from Saraswati – for leading our lives well and completely.
- Day ten after the nine days is Vijayadashami – Vijaya meaning victory and dashami simply meaning tenth. And it signifies the victory over all these three, or achieving our goals for all these three – strength, prosperity, and knowledge.
- Ayudha Puja is an important part of the festival and observed on the ninth day along with Saraswati Puja. People worship all kinds of tools, books, musical instruments, machinery, and automobiles along with the worship of Goddess Saraswati.
- Many parts of North India celebrate the festival with the enactment of Lord Rama’s life during the nine days. This ends with Dussehra on the tenth day with the burning of effigies of Ravana, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
In the Western Indian state of Gujarat, people celebrate the festival with dance. One of the two popular ones is Garba. Here women dance in circles around a pot containing a lamp. The name originates from the Sanskrit word for womb Garbh. This traditionally stems from praying for children.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, did you enjoy this post? Do let me know which of these fascinating facts appealed most to you? Do any of these facts remind you of similar traditions you have? As always, I welcome any and all comments and thoughts