Navratri Festival

Navratri 2016 - The nine day fast festival of Navratri is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Durga. Sharad Navratri will be celebrated from October 1 to October 11, 2016.

Navratri 2016

Navratri Navratri - Navratri, literally interpreted as 'nine nights' is the most celebrated Hindu festival devoted to Goddess Durga symbolizing purity and power or 'shakti'. Navratri festival combines ritualistic puja and fasting and is accompanied by resplendent celebrations for nine consecutive days and nights. Navratri in India follows the lunar calendar and is celebrated in March/April as Chaitra Navratri and in September/October as Sharad Navratri.

During Navratri, people from villages and cities gather to perform 'puja' on small shrines representing different aspects of Goddess Durga, including Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. Chanting of mantras and renditions of bhajans and folk songs usually accompany the puja rituals for nine consecutive days of Navratri.

Navratri Celebrations
Defining both the religious and cultural themes, Navratri celebrations are seeped in traditional music and dance. Gujarat is the focus of Navratri celebrations with all night-long dance and festivities. 'Garba' is a devotional dance form that derives from the folklore of Lord Krishna singing and dancing with the gopis using 'dandiya' or slim wooden sticks. 'Raas Garba' has also evolved to include steps like 'Dodhiyu', 'Trikoniya', 'Lehree' and several others. What's more, with time, Navratri festival has seen changes in celebrations with well-choreographed dance performances, high-end acoustics and people dressed in made-to-order, bright costumes. Tourists flock to Vadodara in Gujarat to enjoy a mix of high-energy band music performances, singing and dancing.

Navratri in India witnesses myriad forms of devotion across the country while retaining the common underlying theme of good over evil. In Jammu, the Vaishno Devi shrine sees a huge rise in the number of devotees making their way to the pilgrimage during Navratri. In Himachal Pradesh, the Navratri Mela marks the auspicious occasion of Navratri. In West Bengal, men and women celebrate 'Durga Puja' with great devotion and reverence and worship Goddess Durga destroying the demon 'Mahishasura'. 'Ramlila', wherein people enact scenes from Ramayana is performed in big grounds. 'Dussehra' which coincides with the tenth day of Ashwin (Sharad) Navratri sees nation-wide celebration.

In South India, during Navratri, people arrange idols in a step pattern and invoke the name of God. In Mysore, the nine-day Navratri festival coincides with 'Dasara' Festival involving folk music renditions and dance performances, wrestling tournaments and tableau participation. The procession of tableaux along with embellished elephants, camels and horses starting from the brightly-lit Mysore Palace is a famous one. 'Vijayadashami' is also an auspicious day in South India for performing puja for one's vehicle.

Goddess Durga is worshipped for the first three days of Navratri followed by Goddess Laxmi for the next three days. Last three days of Navratri are devoted to Goddess Saraswati. Celebrate Navratri with sacred devotion to get the blessings of Maa Durga. Sharadiya Navratri 2016 is starting from October 01 and will continue till October 11.

Sharad Navratri 2016 Dates

Ghatsthapana, Navratri Day 1 - 1st October 2016

Chandra Darshan - 2nd October 2016

Dwitiya - 3rd October 2016

Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya - 4th October 2016

Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja - 5th October 2016

Panchami, Skandamata Puja - 6th October 2016

Shashthi, Katyayani Puja - 7th October 2016

Saptami, Kalaratri Puja - 8th October 2016

Ashtami, Sri Durga Mahaashtami, Saraswati Puja - 9th October 2016

Navami, Maha Navami, Navami Homa - 10th October 2016

Sharad Navratri ends, Navratri Parana - 11th October 2016

Nine Goddess of Navratri

A religious fervor and excitement accompanies Navratri celebrations throughout India. While the formal displays and ceremonies may differ, the underlying sentiment and message is the same across communities and states. Today, the celebrations have acquired huge proportions in the UK, Canada, Singapore and USA, which have sizeable Indian population.

Navratri Day 1 - Maa Shailaputri

Navratri Day 2 - Maa Brahmacharini

Navratri Day 3 - Maa Chandraghanta

Navratri Day 4 - Maa Kushmanda

Navratri Day 5 - Maa Skanda Mata

Navratri Day 6 - Maa Katyayani

Navratri Day 7 - Maa Kalaratri

Navratri Day 8 - Maa Mahagauri

Navratri Day 9 - Maa Siddhidatri

Chaitra Navratri 2017 Dates

Chaitra Navratri: March 28, 2017 to April 05, 2017