Navratri meaning & significance: Navratri literally meaning nine nights in Sanskrit, “nav” meaning nine and “ratri” meaning nights, are dedicated to a Hindu deity Shakti Goddess Durga and are celebrated all over India with various names & in different styles.
Navratri is celebrated five times a year in Vasanta, Ashadha, Sharada, and in Paush/Magha Hindu months. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta season are the most celebrated. Sharada Navratri is celebrated in the Ashwin month for which dates are calculated depending upon the Lunar Calendar therefore there is one extra or one less Navratra each year. Navratri begin on first day of bright moon period during Ashwin month and end on the 10th day called Vijayadashmi or Dussera. Navratri celebrate womanhood and various forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped during these nine days.
Navratri – nine forms of Goddess Durga: The first day of Navratri is devoted to the childish unmarried girl or Kumari. Devi Parvati is worshiped on the second day of Navratri because she epitomizes blossoming woman and the third day of Navratri marks reverence of the fierce form of Goddess Durga called Kali. The forthcoming three days are dedicated to the rites and rituals of Goddess Lakshmi, the bestower of fortune, oppulence, riches and successfulness. The remaining three days are dedicated for the adoration of Goddess Saraswati. It is believed Goddess Saraswati confers her devotees with discernment and intelligence.
Navratri food & thalli: Many Goddess Durga devotees observe fast for all the nine Navratris, having satvik food only once in twenty four hours. Perhaps to prepare the body for the days of feasting ahead! Now-a-days many restaurants offer Navratri special food & thalis. Restaurants prepare special Navratra combo thallis for the fasting Durga Maa devotees thereby help them break fast in a truly special experience. Navratri food is created to give devotees a delicious feast while following the traditional restrictions and religious norms for the vrat. It features dishes like aloo ki subzi, arbi kur kuri and raita with kuttu ki pakodi and puris (with minimal spices, rock salt and atta made from fruit tree leaf) followed with delicious sweets . Truly a divine vrat experience! (You can check about Navratri food & thalis on our site Buzzintown (dot) com)
Navratri Kanya Puja: In some communities in North India Durga Ashtami marks the culmination of Navratris. On the eight / ninth day of Navtratri called Durga Ashtami or Navami small girls are worshiped, girls feast on choicest food mainly halwa, puri & black grams and beautiful gifts are given to these nine girls. Thus signifying nine forms of Goddess Durga and this Puja is called Kanya Puja or Kanjakk.
Garba and Dandiya-Raas: During Navratri state of Gujarat and Mumbai hold special attraction called Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance. Gujaratis settled elsewhere in India and abroad come to their hometown to play Garba and Dandiya-Raas. With time, Garba and Dandiya-Raas have become extremely popular throughout India and off shores as well. Dandiya and Garba nights are held in many cities and well known Bollywood celebrities grace the Navratri celebrations. News is Dandiya Queen Falguni Pathak would be paid Rs 1.6 crore for her Navratri 2012 performance.
Durga Puja or Pujo: The last four Sharad Navratris are celebrated as Durga Puja or Pujo in Eastern India mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam. Durga Puja happens to be the biggest festival of the year here. Gigantic clay idols of Goddess Durga depicting slaying of buffalo demon Mahishasura are brought home for four days and worshipped. After four days of festivities, when Durga’s entry into homes is celebrated as a daughter’s return to her maiden home, Durga is given a fitting farewell with the call to come again the following year.
Kolu or Golu dolls: The festival of Navratri is called Kolu or Golu or Bombe Habba in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in South India and also in few Tamil populance in Sri Lanka. Well crafted colorful Kolu dolls are put on display on numbered tiers generally 7, 9 or 11. Golu dolls are principally of the gods and goddesses characterizing conviction and folk tales. As per tradition Golu dolls must include few wooden dolls. Female guests are given prasad (the food offerings given to God that day), kumkum / kumkuma / kunkumam (red vermillion) and a humble packet of goodies. Kolu is worshiped by lighting a lamp in front of it every evening for these nine days and devotional hymns and shlokas are chanted in front of the Golu dolls.
Image source: Wikipedia
“Vijayadasami” or Dussera: “Vijayadasami” or Dussera is celebrated on the 10th day of Navratri and is one of the most auspicious day. It marks the triumph of good over evil. Many like to reserve Vijayadasami for new enterprises inception, house inauguration and to begin tutoring of kids. People keep the faith that new ventures started on Vijayadasami definitely boom. In the evening of “Vijayadasami”, any one doll from the “Kolu” is tokenly put to sleep and other Kolu dolls are packed up for the next year.
Vijayadasami marks the triumph of Lord Rama over demon King Ravana and also of Maa Durga over Mahishasura. Huge fairs are held on the evening of Dussera or Vijayadasami and effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran & Meghnath are burnt.
Navratri symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, of knowledge over ignorance, of light over darkness. It commemorates woman power, Shakti or inner strength. Whichever way you look at it, India is in a magical celebration mode during Navratri.
Navratri Dates: This year Navratri begin on 16 October 2012 and end on (i.e. Durga Ashtami) 22 October 2012. Vijayadasami or Dussera is on 24th October 2012.
Happy Navratri Wishes, SMS & Messages
Many like to wish & SMS their loved ones on Navratri therefore we bring you Navratri SMS & wishes:
1) May This Navratri be as bright as ever.
May this Navratri bring joy,
health and wealth to you.
May the festival of lights brighten up you and
your near and dear ones lives.
2.) May Maa Durga empower you & your family with her
Nine Swaroopa of Name, Fame, Health, Wealth, Happiness, Humanity, Education, Bhakti & Shakti.
3.) Memories of moments celebrated together
Moments that have been attached in my heart forever
Make me miss you even more this Navratri.
Hope this Navratri brings in Good Fortune
And Long lasting happiness for you!
4.) This Navratri, May You Be Blessed With Good Fortune
As Long as Ganeshji’s Trunk,
Wealth and Prosperity As Big As His Stomach,
Happiness as Sweet as his Ladoos,
And May Your Trouble Be As Small as His Mouse.
5.) Fortunate is the one who has learned to Admire, but not to envy.
Good Wishes for a joyous Navratri
And a Happy New Year with a plenty of Peace and Prosperity.
6.) Navratri messages in Hindi:
Hindi Navratri Sms with the forms of Devi Durga
Mata Rani meri aur apki manokamna puri karey..
JAI MATA DI.
7.) Lal rang ki chunri se saja MAA ka darbar
Harshit hua me
Pulkit hua sansar
Nanhe-2 kadmo se MAA aye apke dwar
Mubarak ho NAVRATRI ka tyohar!
8.) Durga Maa ki jyoti se noor milta hai,
sabke dilo ko shurur milta hai,
jo bhi jata hai MAA ke dawar , kuch na kuch jarur milta hai.
9.) Navratri sms greetings
Nav Durga bless u.
10.) Durga sloka SMS
OM SARVA MANGAL MANGALAY SHIVE SARWARTH SWADHIKE,
SHARANYE TARYAMBAKE GOURI NARAYANI NAMOSTUTE!!!
JAI MATA DI!
(Contributed by: Suchi Goyal)