Navratri is a very important Hindu festival celebrated in India, which is devoted to Goddess Durga and her nine forms. The word Navratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit
Nav = nine and Ratri = nights. It is celebrated during the period of Sarad Masi Aswin by Hindu lunar calendar, all eight days and nine nights have its importance and is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.
There are three main Navratri celebrations in India, Sharad Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Sharad season (September-October), and it celebrates the slaying of demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. Navratri is a celebration of nine days where goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati are worshiped for three days each. Vasant Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Vasant season (March- April), and is celebrated in North India, similarly Ashada Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu Ashada season (July-August), in Himachal Pradesh.
Goddess Durga which symbolizes the destructive aspect of the divine mother is worshipped during the first three nights of the festival. On the next three nights, her Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and on the last three nights, the knowledge aspect which is Goddess Saraswati is worshipped. The festival is celebrated with this order because first Goddess Durga destroys all the evil after which Lakshmi imbibes divine qualities in the minds of devotees and finally Goddess Saraswati bestows true knowledge. The tenth day known as Vijaya Dasami is generally the day where victory of knowledge wins over evil.
Many Hindus all across the country who celebrate the festival of Navratri observe fast. They offer their prayers with all the rituals that are suppose to take place and wish for their well being, health and prosperity. Navratri is considered to be an auspicious time for starting anything afresh or buying anything new.
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