“NavaRatri” means nine nights. In India we celebrate these nine days two times an year, once in the beginning of year and other at the arrival of winter. During these days we pray to the nine forms of Goddess “Shakti” which is believed to have created this world. Some of her names are “Durga“, “Maa Kali” , “Devi” or “Amba“.
The Sharada Navaratri that begins today is actually a ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashmi which is on the tenth day.
Vasanta Navaratri, is the festival of nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the beginning of summer (March–April). It is also known as Chaitra Navaratri. The nine days of festival is also known as Raama Navratri.
Sharad Navratri is a very important and major festival in the state of Gujarat and Mumbai, where during all these days the traditional dance of Gujarat called ‘Garba‘ is been performed by everyone. In West Bengal these days are celebrated as “Durga Puja“, biggest festival of Bengalis. In some parts of South India, Saraswati puja is performed on the 9th day. Ayudha Puja is conducted in many parts of South India on the Mahanavami (Ninth) day with much fanfare. In North India, as the finale of the Ramlila, a dance drama during Dussehra, the effigy of Ravana is burnt to celebrate the victory of good (Rama) over evil forces on the ‘Vijaya Dashami’ day.