Navarathri festival commences on 17th October, Saturday and ends on 15th October, Friday in 2021.
The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights.’ During Navaratri, we worship the goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, in that order for three days each. The most important day is the 10th day, Vijayadashami. The word Vijayadashami means ’10th day of victory.’ I will tell you about the significance of this festival.
We worship goddess Durga because she is shakti – strength. This is meant to help us think about our positive inner selves. We worship the goddess Lakshmi because she gives wealth and prosperity. She basically symbolizes positive qualities that are useful for overcoming your negative qualities.
The reason we worship Goddess Saraswati is that she is the embodiment of knowledge. For this worship, we put our books, musical instruments and anything that gives us knowledge on the platform before god to show our respect for these tools of knowledge. The main significance of this kind of worship is that you should not let your bad side, or negative side, win. Have self-control using shakti. Then increase your positives by worshipping Lakshmi. Once your positive side wins you can take in knowledge with Saraswathi. Finally, you will become one with god. These are the different stages to attain Moksha. This festival reminds us of this process. The ninth day of Navaratri is the Ayudha Pooja. This is the day we worship our tools and instruments, and other objects used in daily life because they help us achieve our goals. On the 10th day, Vijayadashami, we celebrate Vijay – victory. Durga killed the evil asura Mahisura which is a destruction of our negative selves. This the day for the learner. You must always think like a beginner like you still have to learn much more, and only then will you have a mind open to new ideas. This day is good to begin endeavors. Little kids also try to start their education by writing a letter of the alphabet in grains of rice.
East-West and North-South versions of Dussehra
In the eastern and northeastern states of India, Dussehra is associated with Durga puja. On nine holy days, devotees pray for the victory of goddess Durga over the demon, Mahishasura. On the final day demon gets beheaded, Vijayadasami is celebrated to signify this win of dharma over evil or dharma.
In the western and northern states, Dussehra is celebrated to embrace the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. The act known as Ramlila will perform throughout various locations and all eyes will be on the final act of burning effigies of Ravana. While in the south, all the above celebrations will be carried out in parallel.
Navaratri is a famous nine days festival in Hinduism. On these days special Navratri puja is performed to the Goddess Durga Mata, Saraswathi Devi and Mahalakshmi. Different Alankaras of goddesses are described with various names, saree colors, and Naivedyams. It may differ according to that temple agama Sastra, and their own rituals. This can also change according to Tithi, nakshatra, and year. A festival that is celebrated throughout the Indian sub-continent with different stories and celebrations across various regions. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day after Navarathri, the nine holy days observed during the monsoon-autumn season every year. Dussera or Vijayadasami - as its popularly known marks the end to Navarathri.
Dussehra 1st Day(7/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess as Sri Swarna Kavachalankrita Durga Devi on the first day of Navratri. On that day she is decorated with Swarna Kavacham (gold color saree). For getting good vibrations goddess decorated with gold color saree. During that day devotees offer Chalimidi( Mixture of rice flour with jaggery), Vadapappu (soaked Bengal gram), and Payasam as a Naivedyam. It gives peace of mind.
Dussehra 2nd Day(8/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Sri Bala Tripura Sundari on Navratri second day. On that day she is decorated with Light pink color saree. During that day devotees offer Sweet boondhi and chickpeas(soaked and light fried Bengal gram) as a Naivedyam. She protects us from Bhoota Pretalu (Evil eye).
Dussehra 3rd Day (9/Oct/2020)
People may worship Goddess Sri Gayatri Devi on Navaratri third day. On that day she is decorated with Orange color saree. To remove obstacles in life and for getting success, she decorated with orange color saree. During that day, devotees offer Ravva Kesari and Pulihora (tamarind rice) as a Naivedyam. It can remove all doshas in life.
Dussehra 4th Day(10/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi on Navratri fourth day. On that day she is decorated with Pure gold color saree. This gold color signifies good vibrations. During that day devotees offer Pulihora and pesara boorelu(Green gram flour sweet). If you offer these Naivedyas, she will give peace.
Dussehra 5th Day(11/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Sri Saraswathi Devi on Navaratri’s fifth day. On that day she is decorated with white color saree. To get Vidya and Knowledge, she is worshiped with white color saree. During that day devotees offer Atukulu (poha/beaten rice), Bellam(jaggery), Sanaga Pappu(Bengal gram), and coconut. By offering these Naivedyas, one will bless with a child along with their vidya.
Dussehra 6th Day(12/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Sri Annapurna Devi on sixth day of Navratri. On that day she is decorated with sandalwood yellow color saree. For getting success, she is worshipped with sandalwood yellow color saree. During that, devotees offer Pongali(Pongal) as a Naivedyam. By offering this Naivedya, one will bless with enough food and get free from the evil eye.
Dussehra 7th Day(13/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Kalaratri Devi on Navartri’s seventh day. On that day she is decorated with a pink color saree. For getting good thoughts, she is worshiped with pink color saree. During that day devotees offer Ksheerannam (Rice recipe made with milk and sugar) or jaggery rice (made with milk and jaggery) as a Naivedyam. By offering these Naivedya will get happiness, richness, and peace in life.
Dussehra 8th Day(14/Oct/2020)
People worship Goddess Sri Durga Devi on Navratri’s eighth day. On that day she is decorated with red color saree. For getting new thoughts and excitement, she is worshiped with red color saree. During that day devotees offer Garelu (made with black gram), Lemon juice as a Naivedyam. By offering it, one will be blessed with peace.
Dussehra 9th Day(15/Oct/2020)
People worship Sri Mahishasura Mardini Devi on Dussehra’s ninth day. On that day Mahishasura Mardini Devi is decorated with Brown or red color saree. Sri Mahishasuramardhini Devi receives Chakra Pongal( Rice recipe made with milk and sugar) as a prasad. By offering this Naivedyams one will get free from bad things. On ninth day Goddess Siddhidatri also worshiped. She is the ninth form of goddess Durga Mata. By worshiping Siddidatri on that day one will be blessed with perfection, and happiness.
People worship Goddess Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi on the tenth day of Vijayadasami. It is more important day, Vijayadasami means the tenth day of victory. On that day Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi is decorated with Green color saree. She receives Pulihora and garelu as a Naivedyam. By offering these naivedyams, one will get Siddhi and Buddhi.
Importance & Significance of Navratri Festival
- Navaratri is a nine days auspicious festival. The festival is celebrated to memorialize Durga Maa’s win over the demon king Mahishasura, and it denotes the victory of peace, dharma over ego and demon. This Dussehra festival has a spiritual message for its performers. On that day’s, if you offer prayers to goddess Durga Maa one will get free from all negativities, purify the mind, peace, and positive thoughts.
- The word meaning of Navaratri is ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means Night. During nine nights of Navaratri, the supreme female heavenly power (goddess Shakti) is worshiped in different forms as Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswathi. This Dussehra festival signifies power, knowledge, richness, and prosperity. On that nine days, the first three days goddess Durga is worshipped, one can free from removing animalistic propensity.
- Goddess Lakshmi worshiped for the next three days. If you worship goddess Lakshmi, on those days one will bestow purification of mind. Goddess Lakshmi is the symbol of wealth. She is the source of true spiritual wealth. By worshiping Goddess Devi Lakshmi, she will give her blessings with money, pure mind, and noble values to nourish.
- In the final three days, Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped. She is the symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Goddess Saraswathi represents Knowledge. If you worship her on those days one will be blessed with good knowledge. On the tenth day, Vijayadasami is celebrated. Dussehra festival is celebrated as a symbol of the destruction of evil. This Navaratri festival signifies the victory of good over evil.
Significance of Golu Dolls during Navratri
Navaratri festival across India is often associated with Durga Puja. This festival is nine days dolls festival. Different types of gods and goddesses dolls are placed on Golu stands. During Navaratri, dolls displaying is known as Bommala Koluvu, Bommai Golu, Bombe Hebba. This doll festival is a very old tradition. These dolls displaying are commonly thematic, narrating a legend from Hindu old scripture.
The Golu dolls arranged on a Golu stand. Generally, an odd number of steps 3,5,7,9 can be built. However, the odd number nine is the ideal number. The nine steps could be taken to represent the nine ways of worshiping goddess Durga Mata Smaranam, Swarnam, Kirthanam, Archanam, Padasevanam, Vandhanam, Dasyam, Sakyam, Atmasevadhana and also represents the nine planets of the universe.
The main reason behind the celebration of the Navaratri festival is to proceed with the belief of good over evil. In South India, the Golu festival includes Ganesh puja, Saraswathi puja, Vijayadasami, and Ayudha puja in the last three days. These wooden deities dolls represent prosperity, fertility. You can celebrate Bommala Koluvu in your living room or puja room. After arranging the dolls, decorate the entire stand and room with flowers and lights, it gives a good look at your house.
Artifacts of the season
Colorfully decorated stages where idols of Goddess Durga in various of her transformations placed- this symbolic view will fill in every street and corner during Navarathri. There will be art performances including plays that depict the war between goddess and Demon.
The drama playing the life of Lord Rama called Ramlila enlightens the crowd. The final act of burning effigies of Ravana happens to the most enthralling moment of all.
Air-filled with prayers, every home kept clean and holy, the arriving time will mint divinity in every aspect to remove the materialistic darkness blinding one's mind through the light of ultimate truth or dharma. The victory of gods over demons symbolically signifies the assured re-establishment of truth and wisdom by the end no matter how deep evil blends in.