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v t e

Navaratri
Navaratri
(Sanskrit: नवरात्रि, literally "nine nights"), also spelled Navratri
Navratri
or Navarathri, is a nine nights (and ten days) Hindu
Hindu
festival, celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent.[3][1] Theoretically, there are four seasonal Navratri. However, in practice, it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharada Navratri
Navratri
that is the most observed in the honor of the divine feminine Devi
Devi
(Durga). The festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu
Hindu
calendar month Ashvin, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October.[3][4] In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga
Durga
Puja is synonymous with Navratri, wherein goddess Durga
Durga
battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with "Rama Lila" and Dussehra
Dussehra
that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.[1] In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama
Rama
or Saraswati
Saraswati
is celebrated. In all cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legend such as the Ramayana
Ramayana
or the Devi Mahatmya.[3][4] Celebrations include stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism. The nine days are also a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design and staging of pandals, a family visit to these pandals and the public celebration of classical and folk dances of Hindu
Hindu
culture.[5][6][7] On the final day, called the Vijayadashami
Vijayadashami
or Dussehra, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil's destruction. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays, Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami
Vijayadashami
or Dussehra.[8][9][1]

Contents

1 Etymology and nomenclature 2 Dates and celebrations 3 Significance of Each Day

3.1 Day 1: Shailaputri 3.2 Day 2: Brahmcharini 3.3 Day 3: Chandraghanta 3.4 Day 4: Kushmunda 3.5 Day 5: Skandmata 3.6 Day 6: Katyayani 3.7 Day 7: Kalratri 3.8 Day 8: Mahagauri 3.9 Day 9: Sidhidatri

4 Regional practices

4.1 Eastern India and West Bengal 4.2 North India 4.3 Bihar 4.4 Gujarat 4.5 Goa 4.6 Karnataka 4.7 Kerala 4.8 Maharashtra 4.9 Tamil Nadu 4.10 Telangana

5 Animal Sacrifice 6 Outside India 7 Other religions 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References

10.1 Bibliography

Etymology and nomenclature[edit] The word Navratri
Navratri
means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights.[4] Dates and celebrations[edit]

In Northern, Central and Western states of India, the Ramlila
Ramlila
play is enacted during Navratri
Navratri
by rural artists (above).

Navaratri
Navaratri
festival is an occasion of classical and folk dance performances at Hindu
Hindu
temples. In picture it's Ambaji
Ambaji
Temple of Gujarat

According to some Hindu
Hindu
texts such as the Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas, Navaratri
Navaratri
theoretically falls twice or four times a year. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri
Navaratri
near autumn equinox (September-October) is the most celebrated, and the Vasanta Navaratri
Navaratri
near spring equinox (March-April) is next most significant to the culture of Indian subcontinent. In all cases, Navaratri
Navaratri
falls in the bright half of the Hindu
Hindu
luni-solar months. The celebrations vary by region, leaving much to the creativity and preferences of the Hindu.[4][10][11]

Sharada Navaratri: the most celebrated of the four navaratris, named after sharada which means autumn. It is observed the lunar month of Ashvin (post-monsoon, September–October). In many regions the festival falls after autumn harvest, and in others during harvest. Vasanta Navaratri: the second most celebrated, named after vasanta which means spring. It is observed the lunar month of Chaitra (post-winter, March–April). In many regions the festival falls after spring harvest, and in others during harvest.[where? — see talk page]

The other two navratris are observed regionally or by individuals:[12]

Magha Navaratri: in Magha (January–February), winter season. The fifth day of this festival is often independently observed as Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami, the official start of spring in the Hindu tradition wherein goddess Saraswati
Saraswati
is revered through arts, music, writing, kite flying. In some regions, the Hindu
Hindu
god of love, Kama
Kama
is revered.[13][14] Ashada Navaratri: in Ashadha (June–July), start of the monsoon season.

The Sharada Navratri
Navratri
commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvini. The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during this month, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. The exact dates of the festival are determined according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar, and sometimes the festival may be held for a day more or a day less depending on the adjustments for sun and moon movements and the leap year.[3][10][5] The festivities extend beyond goddess Durga
Durga
and god Rama. Various other goddesses such as Saraswati
Saraswati
and Lakshmi, gods such as Ganesha, Kartikeya, Shiva
Shiva
and Krishna
Krishna
are regionally revered. For example, a notable pan- Hindu
Hindu
tradition during Navratri
Navratri
is the adoration of Saraswati, the Hindu
Hindu
goddess of knowledge, learning, music and arts through Ayudha Puja.[15] On this day, which typically falls on the ninth day of Navratri
Navratri
after the Good has won over Evil through Durga or Rama, peace and knowledge is celebrated. Warriors thank, decorate and worship their weapons, offering prayers to Saraswati.[16] Musicians upkeep their musical instruments, play and pray to them. Farmers, carpenters, smiths, pottery makers, shopkeepers and all sorts of trades people similarly decorate and worship their equipment, machinery and tools of trade. Students visit their teachers, express respect and seek their blessings.[15][17] This tradition is particularly strong in South India, but is observed elsewhere too.[17] To some, Navratri
Navratri
is a cultural and social festival which marks family time, along with the celebration of various performance arts. Navratri has been called the Hindu
Hindu
festival of dance.[18][19][20] Significance of Each Day[edit] The festival is associated to the prominent battle that took place between Durga
Durga
and demon Mahishasura
Mahishasura
and celebrates the victory of Good over Evil.[21] These nine days are solely dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars.[22] Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess:[23][24][25][26] Day 1: Shailaputri[edit] Known as Pratipada, this day is associated to Shailaputri( lit. Daughuter of Mountain), an incarnation of Parvati. It is in this form that the Goddess is worshiped as the consort of Shiva; she is depicted as riding a Bull, with a Trishul in her right hand and Lotus in left. Shailaputri is considered to be the direct incarnation of Mahakali. The color of the day is Red, which depicts action and vigor. Day 2: Brahmcharini[edit] On Dwitiya, Goddess Brahmcharini, another incarnation of Parvati, is worshiped. In this form, Parvati
Parvati
became Sati, her unmarried self. Brahmcharini is worshiped for emancipation or moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity. Depicted as walking bare feet and holding a japamala and kamandalu in her hands, she symbolizes bliss and calm. The color of the day is Royal Blue which depicts calmness-cum-energy. Day 3: Chandraghanta[edit] Tritiya commemorates the worship of Chandraghanta- the name derived from the fact that after marrying Shiva, Parvati
Parvati
adorned her forehead with half-chandra(lit. moon). She is the embodiment of beauty and is also symbolic of bravery, and hence, the color of the day is Yellow. Day 4: Kushmunda[edit] Goddess Kushmunda is worshiped on Chaturthi. Believed to be the creative power of universe, Kushmunda is associated to the endowment of vegetation on earth and hence, the color of the day is Green. She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Lion. Day 5: Skandmata[edit] Skandmata, the goddess worshiped on Panchami, is the mother of Skand(or Kartikeya). The color Grey is symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is confronted to dangers. she is depicted riding a ferocious Lion, having four arms, and holding her baby. Day 6: Katyayani[edit] Born to a sage, Katya, she is an incarnation of Durga
Durga
and is shown to exhibit courage which is symbolized by the color Orange. Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. In this avatar, the Devi
Devi
rides a lion and has four hands. Day 7: Kalratri[edit] Considered the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kalaratri is revered on Saptmi. It is believed that Parvati
Parvati
removed her fair skin to kill the demons Sumbh and Nisumbh. The color of the day is White. Day 8: Mahagauri[edit] Mahagauri symbolizes intelligence and peace. The color associated to this day is Pink which depicts optimism. Day 9: Sidhidatri[edit] On the last day of the festival also known as Navami, people pray to Siddhidaatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all type of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Regional practices[edit] Navaratri
Navaratri
is celebrated in different ways throughout India.[27] Some fast, others feast. Some revere the same Mother Goddess but different aspects of her, while others revere avatars of Vishnu, particularly of Rama.[10] The Chaitra
Chaitra
Navaratri
Navaratri
culminates in Rama
Rama
Navami on the ninth day,[28] and the Sharada Navaratri
Navaratri
culminates in Durga
Durga
Puja and Dussehra.[10] The Rama
Rama
Navami remembers the birth of Rama, preceded by nine days of Ramayana
Ramayana
recital particularly among the Vaishnava
Vaishnava
temples.[28] In the past, Shakta Hindus
Hindus
used to recite Durga's legends during the Chaitra Navaratri, but this practice around the spring equinox has been declining. For most contemporary Hindus, it is the Navaratri
Navaratri
around the autumn equinox that is the major festival and the one observed. To Bengali Hindus
Hindus
and to Shakta Hindus
Hindus
outside of eastern and northeastern states of India, the term Navaratri
Navaratri
implies Durga
Durga
Puja in the warrior goddess aspect of Devi. In other traditions of Hinduism, the term Navaratri
Navaratri
implies something else or the celebration of Hindu goddess but in her more peaceful forms such as Saraswati
Saraswati
– the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, music and other arts.[10][27] In Nepal, Navaratri
Navaratri
is called Dasain, and is a major annual homecoming and family event that celebrates the bonds between elders and youngsters with Tika Puja, as well as across family and community members.[28] Eastern India and West Bengal[edit] Main article: Durga
Durga
Puja

Two Durga
Durga
Puja pandals in Kolkata during Navratri

The Navratri
Navratri
is celebrated as the Durga
Durga
Puja festival in West Bengal. It is the most important annual festival to Bengali Hindus, and a major social and public event in eastern and northeastern states of India, where it dominates the religious life.[29][30] The occasion is celebrated with thousands[31] of temporary stages called pandals are built in community squares, roadside shrines and large Durga
Durga
temples in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, eastern Nepal, Assam, Tripura and nearby regions. It is also observed by some Shakta Hindus as a private, home-based festival.[30][32][33] Durga
Durga
Puja festival marks the battle of goddess Durga
Durga
with the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, and her emerging victorious.[34][35] The last five days of Navratri
Navratri
mark the popular practices during Durga Puja. The festival begins with Mahalaya, a day where Shakta Hindus remember the loved ones who have died, as well the advent of warrior goddess Durga.[36][37] The next most significant day of Durga
Durga
Puja celebrations is the sixth day, called Shashthi where the local community welcome the goddess Durga
Durga
Devi
Devi
and festive celebrations are inaugurated. On the seventh day (Saptami), eighth (Ashtami) and ninth (Navami), Durga
Durga
along with Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha
Ganesha
and Kartikeya are revered and these days mark the main Puja (worship) with recitation of the scriptures, the legends of Durga
Durga
in Devi
Devi
Mahatmya and social visits by families to elaborately decorated and lighted up temples and pandals (theatre like stages).[38][39][40] After the nine nights, on the tenth day called Vijayadashami, a great procession is held where the clay statues are ceremoniously walked to a river or ocean coast for a solemn goodbye to Durga. Many mark their faces with vermilion (sindoor) or dress in something red. It is an emotional day for some devotees, and the congregation sings emotional goodbye songs.[41][42] After the procession, Hindus
Hindus
distribute sweets and gifts, visit their friends and family members.[43] North India[edit]

An 1834 sketch by James Prinsep showing Ram Leela Mela during Navratri in Benares.

In North India, Navaratri
Navaratri
is marked by the numerous Ramlila
Ramlila
events, where episodes from the story of Rama
Rama
and Ravana
Ravana
are enacted by teams of artists in rural and urban centers, inside temples or in temporarily constructed stages. This Hindu
Hindu
tradition of festive performance arts was inscribed by UNESCO as one of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" in 2008.[44] The festivities, states UNESCO, include songs, narration, recital and dialogue based on the Hindu
Hindu
text Ramacharitmanas by Tulsidas. It is particularly notable in historically important Hindu
Hindu
cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna
Satna
and Madhubani – cities in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.[44] The festival and dramatic enactment of the virtues versus vices filled story is organized by communities in hundreds of small villages and towns, attracting a mix of audience from different social, gender and economic backgrounds. In many parts, the audience and villagers join in and participate spontaneously, some helping the artists, others helping with stage set up, create make-up, effigies and lights.[44] Navaratri
Navaratri
has historically been a prominent ritual festival for kings and military of a kingdom.[1] At the end of the Navratri, comes Dussehra, where the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada are burnt to celebrate the victory of good (Rama) over evil forces on Vijayadashami.[45]

Navratri
Navratri
is also a festival for feasting with friends and family.

Elsewhere, during this religious observance, goddess Durga's war against deception and evil is remembered. A pot is installed (ghatasthapana) at a sanctified place at home. A lamp is kept lit in the pot for nine days. The pot symbolises the universe. The uninterrupted lit lamp symbolizes the Adishakti, i.e. Durga
Durga
Devi.[46] Bihar[edit] In parts of Bihar, goddess Durga
Durga
is revered during the autumn Navratri. In other parts, such near Sitamarhi
Sitamarhi
close to Nepal border, the spring Navratri
Navratri
attracts a large Ramanavami fair which marks the birth of Lord Rama
Rama
as well as a reverence for his wife Sita
Sita
who legends place was born at Sitamarhi. It is the largest cattle trading fair, and attracts a large handicrafts market in pottery, kitchen and house ware, as well as traditional clothing. Festive performance arts and celebrations are held at the local Hindu
Hindu
temple dedicated to Sita, Hanuman, Durga, and Ganesha.[47][48] Gujarat[edit] Navaratri
Navaratri
festival in Gujarat
Gujarat
is one of the main festivals. The traditional method includes fasting for a day, or partially every of the nine days such as by not eating grains or just taking liquid foods, in remembrance of one of nine aspects of Shakti
Shakti
goddess. The prayers are dedicated to a symbolic clay pot called garbo, as a remembrance of womb of the family and universe. The clay pot is lit, and this is believed to represent the one Atman (soul, self).[49][50]

Garba dancing is a Navaratri
Navaratri
tradition in Gujarat.

In Gujarat
Gujarat
and nearby Hindu
Hindu
communities such as in Malwa, the garbo significance is celebrated through performance arts on all nine days.[49][50] The most visible is group dances from villages to towns called Garba accompanied by live orchestra, seasonal raga, or devotional songs. It is a folk dance, where people of different background and skills join and form concentric circles. The circles can grow or shrink, reaching sizes of 100s, sometimes 1000s of people, dancing and clapping in circular moves, in their traditional costumes, at the same time. The garba dance sometimes deploys dandiyas (sticks), coordinated movements and striking of sticks between the dancers, and teasing between the genders.[51] Post dancing, the group and the audience socializes and feasts together.[49][50] Regionally, the same thematic celebration of community songs, music and dances on Navaratri is called garbi or garabi.[50] Goa[edit]

Some regions produce and sell special Navaratri
Navaratri
miniature golu dolls, such as of Krishna
Krishna
above.

In the temples of Goa, on the first day of the Hindu
Hindu
month of Ashwin, in temples (and some households), a copper pitcher is installed surrounded by clay in which nine varieties of food grains are placed inside the sanctum sanctorum of Devi
Devi
and Krishna
Krishna
temples. The nine nights are celebrated by presenting devotional songs, and through religious discourses. Artists arrive to perform folk musical instruments. Celebrations include placing the goddess image in a specially-decorated colourful silver swing, known as Makhar in Konkani and for each of the nine nights, she is swung to the tune of temple music (called as ranavadya) and devotees singing kirtan and waving lamps. This is locally called Makharotsav.[52][53] The last night of the Goa
Goa
Navaratri
Navaratri
festival is a major celebration and attracts larger participation. It is locally called the makhar arati.[54] Karnataka[edit]

Navaratri
Navaratri
decorations at Kudroli Hindu
Hindu
temple, Karnataka

In Karnataka, Navaratri
Navaratri
is observed by lighting up Hindu
Hindu
temples, cultural sites and my regal processions. It is locally called Dasara, and it is the state festival (Nadahabba) of Karnataka. Of the many celebrations, the Mysuru Dasara is a major one and is popular for its festivities.[55] The contemporary Dasara festivities at Mysore
Mysore
are credited to the efforts of King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami,[56] the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of decorated elephants and horses. The day after Navratri, on the Vijayadashami
Vijayadashami
day, the traditional Dasara procession is held on the streets of Mysore. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden saddle (hauda) on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels.[57] Ayudha Puja
Ayudha Puja
is dedicated to Saraswati
Saraswati
goddess, on the ninth day of Dasara, where military personnel upkeep their weapons and families upkeep their tools of livelihood, both offering a prayer to Saraswati as well as Parvati
Parvati
and Lakshmi.[15][58] Another Navaratri
Navaratri
tradition in Karnataka
Karnataka
has been decorating a part of one's home with art dolls called Gombe or Bombe, similar to Golu dolls of Tamil Nadu. An art themed Gaarudi Gombe, featuring folk dances which incorporate these dolls, is also a part of the celebration.[59]

A family preparing for Saraswati
Saraswati
puja on Navarathri.

Kerala[edit] In Kerala
Kerala
and in some parts of Karnataka
Karnataka
three days: Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami
Vijaya Dashami
of Sharada Navarathri are celebrated as Sarasvati Puja in which books are worshiped. The books are placed for Puja on the Ashtami day in own houses, traditional nursery schools, or in temples. On Vijaya Dashami
Vijaya Dashami
day, the books are ceremoniously taken out for reading and writing after worshiping Sarasvati. Vijaya Dashami
Vijaya Dashami
day is considered auspicious for initiating the children into writing and reading, which is called Vidyāraṃbhaṃ.[60] The Vidyarambham day tradition starts with the baby or child sitting on the lap of an elderly person such as the grandfather, near images of Saraswati
Saraswati
and Ganesha. The elder writes a letter and the child writes the same with his or her index finger. This Hindu
Hindu
tradition is so popular that Christian organizations have copied it and ritually observe it inside many churches.[61] However, Navratri
Navratri
traditions of Hindus
Hindus
is not the only tradition observed by Kerala
Kerala
Christians, many other Hindu
Hindu
ritual traditions are celebrated in Churches.[62] Maharashtra[edit]

Traditionally dressed for Navratri
Navratri
festival celebrations

The Navratri
Navratri
celebrations vary across Maharashtra, and the specific rites differ between regions even if they are called the same and dedicated to the same deity. The most common celebration begins on the first day of Navaratri
Navaratri
with Ghatasthapana (sthapana of a ghat), which literally means "mounting of a jar". On this day, rural households mount a copper or brass jar, filled with water, upon a small heap of rice kept on a wooden stool (pat).[63] Additionally, with the jar, is typically placed other agriculture symbols such as turmeric root, leaves of mango tree, coconut and major staple grains (usually eight varieties). A lamp is lighted symbolizing knowledge and household prosperity, and kept alight through the nine nights of Navaratri.[64] The family worship the pot for nine days by offering rituals and a garland of flowers, leaves, fruits, dry-fruits, etc. with a naivedya, and water is offered in order to get the seeds sprouted. Some families also celebrate Kaali pujan on days 1 and 2, Laxmi pujan on days 3, 4, 5 and Saraswati
Saraswati
puja on days 6, 7, 8, 9 along with Ghatasthapana. On the eighth day, a "Yajna" or "Hom" is performed in the name of Goddess Durga. On ninth day, the Ghat puja is done and the Ghat is dissolved after taking off the sprouted leaves of the grains. In many families, a woman from Matang community is called and offered food and blessings are sought from her. She is considered as a form of the Goddess "Matangi".[citation needed] The fifth day worship of goddess Lalita is unusually common in Maharashtra.[65] On the ninth day day (navami) of the festival, men participate in Ayudha Puja
Ayudha Puja
like the rest of India where all sorts of tools, weapons, vehicles and productive instruments are maintained, decorated, thanked and worshipped.[66]

Girls dressed up for music and dance performance, Amman Navarathiri

Tamil Nadu[edit] Navaratri
Navaratri
has been a historic tradition within Tamil Nadu, with Lakshmi, Saraswati
Saraswati
and Durga
Durga
goddesses the focus.[67] Like the rest of India, the festival has been an occasion for performance arts, particularly Hindu
Hindu
temple dances such as Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam
and Mohiniyattam. Major palaces, community centers and historic temples have embedded dance halls. For example, the Padmanabhapuram Palace built about 1600 CE has had a large dance hall with intricately carved pillars, a structure entirely made of stone. This dance hall has traditionally been known as Navratri
Navratri
Mantapa.[68] The festivities begin with Vedic chants inaugurating the dances and other ceremonies. Other Tamil Hindu
Hindu
temples, such as those associated with Sri Vaishnavism, also celebrate the Navarathri festivities.[69]

A large sculpted dance hall inside Padmanabhapuram Palace
Padmanabhapuram Palace
near Kanyakumari
Kanyakumari
is called Navarathri Mandapam. It features goddess Saraswati
Saraswati
and large dance hall.

Another notable Tamil tradition is a celebration of the festival with Golu dolls (also spelled as Gollu). These include gods, goddesses, animals, birds and rural life all in a miniature design. People set up their own creative themes in their homes, called Kolu, friends and families invite each other to visit their homes to view Kolu displays, then exchange gifts and sweets.[70] This tradition is also found in other parts of South India such as Andhra Pradesh where it called Bommala Koluvu, and Karnataka
Karnataka
where it is called Gombe Habba or Gombe totti.[67][71] Evidence of Gombe totti tradition as a Hindu celebration of the artisan arts goes back to at least the 14th-century Vijayanagara Empire.[72] In the evening of "Vijayadasami", any one doll from the "Kolu" is symbolically put to sleep and the Kalasa is moved a bit towards North to mark the end of that year's Navaratri Kolu. The family offers a prayer of thanks, and wraps up the display.[citation needed] In temples of Tamil Nadu, Navaratri
Navaratri
is celebrated for the Devi's dwelling in each temples. The temples are decorated, ceremonial lamps are lit, and Vedic chantings are performed. Popular Tamil Nadu temples celebrating Navaratri
Navaratri
are Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Chennai Kapaleeswarar temple, Kulasekarapattinam Devi
Devi
temple, Perambur Ellaiamman temple, Srirangam Ranganathan temple and 8th century Kumari Amman temple. Priests and visitors to some of these temples wear a special yellow colored 'promise of protection' thread on their wrists, called kappu (Tamil) or raksha bandhana (Sanskrit). It is believed to symbolize a vow to the goddess and protection from the goddess against evil.[73][74] Telangana[edit] See also: Kanya Puja

A lamp above a Bathukamma
Bathukamma
flower arrangement, a Telugu Navratri tradition.

In Telangana, Navratri
Navratri
is celebrated as in the rest of India and it ends with Dasara. During the Navaratri
Navaratri
nights, a notable Telangana tradition involves Telugu Hindu
Hindu
women who produce Bathukamma
Bathukamma
for Navratri
Navratri
goddesses. It is an artistic flower decorations driven event, particularly using marigolds, which revere three different aspects Devi, called Tridevi. In 2016, 9.292 women simultaneously participated to create a 20 feet high flower arrangements, one of the world's largest festive flower arrangement.[75][76] First three days, the goddess Durga
Durga
(Parvati) is revered. The next three days, goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi
is worshipped. Over the last three days, locals revere the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.[citation needed] Like elsewhere in India, Ayudha Puja
Ayudha Puja
is observed by Telangana
Telangana
Hindus where weapons are maintained, decorated and worshipped. Tradesmen and farmers similarly clean up, decorate and worship their own equipment of trade.[15] Animal Sacrifice[edit]

A male buffalo calf about to be sacrificed by a priest in the Durga Puja festival. The buffalo sacrifice practice, however, is rare in contemporary India.[77]

Animal sacrifice is a part of some Durga
Durga
puja celebrations during the Navratri
Navratri
in eastern states of India. The goddess is offered sacrificial animal in this ritual in the belief that it stimulates her violent vengeance against the buffalo demon.[78] According to Christopher Fuller, the animal sacrifice practice is rare among Hindus during Navratri, or at other times, outside the Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition found in the eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha[79] and Assam. Further, even in these states, the festival season is one where significant animal sacrifices are observed.[78] In some Shakta Hindu communities, the slaying of buffalo demon and victory of Durga
Durga
is observed with a symbolic sacrifice instead of animal sacrifice.[80][81][note 1] The Rajput
Rajput
of Rajasthan
Rajasthan
worship their weapons and horses on Navratri, and formerly offered a sacrifice of a goat to a goddess revered as Kuldevi – a practice that continues in some places.[84][85] The ritual requires slaying of the animal with a single stroke. In the past this ritual was considered a rite of passage into manhood and readiness as a warrior.[86] The Kuldevi among these Rajput
Rajput
communities is a warrior-pativrata guardian goddess, with local legends tracing reverence for her during Rajput-Muslim wars.[87] The tradition of animal sacrifice is being substituted with vegetarian offerings to the Goddess in temples and households around Banaras
Banaras
in Northern India.[88] Outside India[edit] The Hindu
Hindu
diaspora that migrated as indentured servants during colonial era to various plantations and mines around the world, as well as those who migrated on their own, continued to mark their Navratri
Navratri
traditions. Tamil Hindus
Hindus
in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, for example, built Hindu
Hindu
temples in southeast Asia in the 19th century, and Navratri
Navratri
has been one of their major traditional festivals.[89] In Trinidad and United Kingdom, Navratri
Navratri
and Diwali have been one of the most visible celebrations of the local Hindu communities from about mid 20th-century.[90][91] Other religions[edit] Navratri
Navratri
and goddess worship is mentioned in the historic Sikhism literature, particularly in the Dasam Granth
Dasam Granth
traditionally attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. According to Louis Fenech, the Sikhs have historically mirrored the reverence for Devi
Devi
Shakti
Shakti
and the worship of weapons in a manner similar to those by Shakta Hindus.[92][93] The second Guru of Sikhism, Guru Angad
Guru Angad
was an ardent devotee of goddess Durga.[94] The Jains have observed the social and cultural celebrations of Navratri
Navratri
with Hindus, such as the folk dances. The stavan poetry of Jainism, states M. Whitney Kelting, "draw much of their imagery from the garba poems" of Hinduism.[95] See also[edit]

Durga
Durga
Puja Vijayadashami Garba Jyoti Kalash Nine Emperor Gods Festival Mysore
Mysore
Dasara Jwaladevi Temple Jhandewalan Temple

Notes[edit]

^ In these cases, Shaktism
Shaktism
devotees consider animal sacrifice distasteful, practice alternate means of expressing devotion while respecting the views of others in their tradition.[82] A statue of asura demon made of flour, or equivalent, is immolated and smeared with vermilion to remember the blood that had necessarily been spilled during the war.[80][81] Other substitutes include a vegetal or sweet dish considered equivalent to the animal.[83]

References[edit]

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Navratri
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Hinduism
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2017: Why Navratri
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is celebrated for 9 days - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-01-06.  ^ "What is Navratri? What do these nine days of festivities mean?". Retrieved 2018-01-06.  ^ " Navratri
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Bibliography[edit]

Amazzone, Laura (2012). Goddess Durga
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Religious Tradition. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-90883-3.  David R. Kinsley (1989). The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-88706-835-5.  James G. Lochtefeld (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8239-2287-1.  Malcolm McLean (1998). Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-3689-9.  June McDaniel (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534713-5.  Rachel Fell McDermott (2001). Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams: Kali
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