Navratri - The nine day fast festival of Navratri is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Durga. Sharad Navratri in 2020 will be celebrated from October 17 to 25.
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.
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 2020 Dates
March 25 to April 3, 2020
Sharad Navratri: October 17 (Saturday) to October 25 (Sunday), 2020
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. Sharad Navratri 2020 is starting from October 17 and will continue till October 25.
Sharad Navratri 2020 Dates
Day 2 (Dwitiya) - October 18, 2020 (Sunday) - Chandra Darshan, Brahmacharini Puja
Day 3 (Tritiya) - October 19, 2020 (Monday) - Chandraghanta Puja
Day 4 (Chaturthi) - October 20, 2020 (Tuesday) - Kushmanda Puja
Day 5 (Panchami) - October 21, 2020 (Wednesday) - Skandamata Puja, Saraswati Avahan
Day 6 (Shashthi) - October 22, 2020 (Thursday) - Katyayani Puja, Saraswati Puja
Day 7 (Saptami) - October 23, 2020 (Friday) - Kalaratri Puja
Day 8 (Ashtami) - October 24, 2020 (Saturday) - Sri Durga Ashtami, Sandhi Puja, Maha Navami
Day 9 (Navami) - October 25, 2020 (Sunday) - Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa, Navratri Parana, Vijayadashami
Day 10 (Dashami) - October 26, 2020 (Monday) - Durga Visarjan
Sharadiya Navratri ends
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.