Hindus worldwide are currently celebrating one of the faith’s greatest festivals, Navratri. The ‘Nine Nights’ festival that celebrates the motherhood of God, Triumph Of Good Over Evil.
What Is Navratri? Navratri symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and involves the worship of the three forms of Devi, or divine mother. Each of these aspects of the goddesses are adored for three days. First comes Durga, the form of the mother goddess who triumphed over the demon Mahishasura after a battle lasting nine days and who wipes away negativity. The next three days involve the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, before moving onto Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. After the nine nights are completed, the tenth day is known as Dasara, the day of victory.
How is Navratri celebrated? Fasting is the most common form of marking Navratri and is the way to invoke Shakti, the divine female energy, in order to cleanse the body and mind. Food is not avoided completely, but grains, such as rice, as well as meat, eggs, lentil, legumes, coffee, alcohol and onion and garlic are forbidden. Fasting is not the only aspect of the festival. Dancing also plays a big part, particularly in Mumbai, with the dance of Garba performed specifically during Navratri. Traditionally it involves performers in outfits full of color circling an image of Durga. Along with dancing, the evenings also involve feasts that bring together whole communities.