Navratri in India is a very special time when almost everyone in India worships Goddess Durga and its nine different incarnations. This time is celebrated with lots of reverence. Some people go on nine days fasting , some do not eat onion and garlic during these days and even non-vegetarian food. Some eat only fruits throughout these nine days. So, there are different ways in which people celebrate Navratri festival.

Kali Mata

Last year I had gone to Gujarat to experience how Gujaratis celebrate Navratri. They celebrate this time with full enthusiasm by playing dandiya on traditional dance numbers. Girls wear Chaniya Choli and boys Dhoti Kurta. They play dandiya with sticks and sometimes clap instead of sticks. In residential areas on small stages, little girls perform dandiya. There are big grounds dedicated to dandiya performances where people come in great numbers and dance. It’s a big celebration there! People keep dancing for hours and hours and normally most of them wear shoes. There is immense energy and enthusiasm all around.

Some people try and visit religious places or temples of Goddess Durga

Pilgrims in temples during Navratri

Pilgrims in temples during Navratri

In Northern parts of India, Delhi temples are decorated with lights and people visit temples every day. Some people grow wheat grass and don’t leave the house alone till they do Pooja on 8th or 9th day from commencement of Navratri. The tradition is also known as Khetri Beejna. Mostly people try to do their important work or complete their work or even start new ventures during Navratri. This time is auspicious and people believe that any task that starts during this time get successfully completed. In Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab this festival is celebrated with full energy and similar beliefs.

In Bengal, they do Pujo. It is a big public and  Social function. People visit temples and many people attend Durga Puja all across.

In Rajasthan, people wear colourful dresses and do Garba folk dance or dandiya rass with their partners. They wear beautiful traditional jewellery. Everyday begins with the worship of Durga Mata. Sheetla Mata puja is performed at Amer Fort in Jaipur and at Megrangarh fort in Jodhpur.

Usually Navdurga are celebrated as Navadevi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Naivedyams are prepared. Chalimidi (Rice Flour Sweet), Vadapappu (Soaked Moong), Payasam (kheer) are offered as naivedyam. (Navratri Pratipada). All the procedures, colours and food as per day is mentioned in hindupad

Nidhi KM