Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Navratri 2022: History, significance, timeline and everything you need to know about this 9-day festival

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Today is the opening day of the nine-day Shardiya Navratri festival, which is a celebration of Maa Durga and her nine incarnations (Kalash or Ghatsthapna). Hindus enthusiastically celebrate the event all around the nation.

It is used to worship Maa Durga and her nine manifestations, known together as Navdurga. Sanskrit’s word for Navratri is “nine nights.” Throughout the year, Hindus celebrate a total of four Navratris. Because they fall at the start of the seasons, only two of them—Chaitra Navaratri and Shardiya Navaratri—saw large celebrations.

Shardiya Navratri is observed from Ashwin Shukla Paksha’s Navami until the Pratipada. While the festival is widely observed across the country with much hoopla, certain traditions are more frequently followed in different states.

Navratri 2022 Timeline:

Navratri starts on September 26 and concludes on October 5.

Navratri 2022 History:

The celebration of Navratri celebrates the victory of good over evil and the thwarting of the wicked Mahishasura. At the start of the story, Lord Brahma grants Mahishasura the gift of immortality as a result of his unwavering devotion to him.

However, there was one condition attached to the blessing: only a woman would be able to defeat him. Because he believed no woman would be powerful enough to defeat him, the devil started terrorising humans on Earth. Gods could not stop him.

Lords Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva combined their efforts to create the goddess Durga in order to destroy Mahishasura. She received several firearms from them. The battle between Mahishasura and Maa Durga lasted ten days. He eventually changed into a buffalo, which allowed Maa Durga to defeat him.

Navratri 2022 Significance:

Devotees worship Maa Durga in her nine forms during the course of the nine-day Navratri celebration to win her blessings. Each day of Navratri is associated with a certain goddess manifestation. People observe ceremonial fasts throughout these nine days, recite shlokas to each goddess, don new clothes, offer bhog, and clean their dwellings. They beseech the goddess for her favour so that they may have successful, joyful, and fulfilling lives.

In North India, notably in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, Ramlila is widely organised during Navratri. The story of Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana is performed at the Ramlila. On Dussehra, the effigies of King Ravana are set ablaze to mark the victory of good over evil.

In reality, a sizable procession is organised on the tenth day of Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, during which clay statues of Maa Durga are ceremoniously dipped into a river, sea, or ocean. West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Bihar are popular locations for this activity. The day of Durga Visarjan is regarded as being the most important day for Maa Durga’s devotion.

Navratri 2022 Celebrations:

Throughout the nine-day celebration, a variety of dances are performed, including Garba and Dandiya Raas. While Garba is a traditional dance in which participants clap their hands and move in a circle while making rhythmic motions, Dandiya Raas involves dancing with dandiya sticks to the beat of the music.

There are many different methods to celebrate Navratri in India. North India has Ramlila celebrations, mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, during which episodes from the Ramayana are enacted. The culmination of the Vijayadashami narrative is marked by the burning of King Ravana’s effigies.

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