Navratri (Nine Nights)
Posted by Admin Dino, October 21, 2012
Navratri - Nava (Nine) + ratri (nights) is a festival celebrated by Hindus symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. As the name suggests, the festival is celebrated over a period of nine nights with each day worshipping a different incarnation of goddess Shakti. In the Gujarat state of India, Navratri is celebrated with much fanfare with a traditional dance called Garba in which boys and girls, young and old everyone participate. In Bengal, it is celebrated as Durga puja (Prayers to goddess Durga (another name for Shakti)).
The 10th day (day after the ninth night) is celebrated as Dussehra (Dasha (bad) hara (remove)) or Vijayadashmi. As in many Indian festivals it celebrates the triumph of good over evil which is indicated by Rama's victory over Ravana. Dussehra is celebrated in many different ways in different parts of India from Ramlila performances to taking out processions, to preparation of special foods including sweets and savories, to blessing their workman tools, books etc. In some parts effigies of Ravana made of paper and wood is burnt. It is also considered auspicious to enroll kids to school on this day.