Navratri 2022: History, significance, celebrations and all you need to know about this 9-day festival
Navratri history, significance and celebrations: The Hindu festival of Navratri is an auspicious nine-day-long celebration that honours Maa Durga for killing the demon, Mahishasura. Know history, significance, celebrations, and everything you need to know about this revered festival inside.
Shardiya Navratri 2022: The nine-day festival of Navratri is celebrated with much pomp all across the country by Hindus. It is dedicated to the worship of Maa Durga and her nine avatars - Navdurga. In Sanskrit, Navratri translates to nine nights. Hindus celebrate four Navratri in total throughout the year. However, only two of them witness large-scale celebrations - Chaitra Navaratri falls during the spring season, and Shardiya Navratri follows the advent of the autumn season. Shardiya Navratri is marked from the Pratipada to the Navami of Ashwin Shukla Paksha. While the festival is observed with much pomp throughout the country, different customs are followed popularly in different states.
When is Shardiya Navratri 2022?
This year, the nine-day-long festival of Navratri will commence on September 26 and end on October 5.
Navratri 2022 History:
Navratri celebrates the killing of the demon Mahishasura and the victory of good over evil. The story begins with Lord Brahma blessing Mahishasura with the gift of immortality because of his immense dedication to him. However, the boon came with one condition - the only person who would be able to defeat him would be a woman. The demon didn't believe any woman would be powerful enough to defeat him and started terrorising people on Earth. Gods weren't able to stop him.
Therefore, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva combined their energies to create the goddess Durga, who would destroy Mahishasura. They equipped her with several weapons. The battle between Maa Durga and Mahishasura lasted ten days. However, when he finally turned into a buffalo, Maa Durga was able to defeat him.
Navratri 2022 Significance and Celebrations:
Devotees worship the nine avatars of Maa Durga during the nine-day Navratri festival, seeking their blessings. Each day of Navratri is associated with an incarnation of the goddess. People observe ritualistic fasts, chant shlokas dedicated to each goddess, wear new clothes, offer bhog, and clean their homes during these nine days. They pray to the goddess and seek her blessings for a prosperous, happy, and fulfilling life.
In North India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Ramlila is organised on a large scale during Navratri. The story of Lord Ram's victory over Ravana is enacted during the Ramlila. It ends on Dussehra with the burning of the effigies of King Ravana to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Apart from this, a great procession is held on the tenth day of Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, where clay statues of Maa Durga are ceremoniously immersed in a river, sea or ocean. This ritual is popularly followed in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Bihar. The day of Durga Visarjan is considered to be the most important day of the Maa Durga's worship.
The nine-day celebrations also involve lots of dancing, including Garba and Dandiya Raas. While Garba is a traditional dance where you clap your hands and do rhythmic movements in a circle, Dandiya Raas involves dancing with dandiya sticks to the rhythm of the music.