The festival of Navratri began today on Thursday, October 7. And on this occasion, ‘Mata Ki Chauki’ is set up at some places, while others also design huge ‘Pandals’. Huge crowds of devotees gather at temples. In some areas, ‘Dandiya’ nights are also arranged. The Durga puja mostly begins with Ghatasthapana. The first form of Goddess Durga – Mata Shialputri is worshipped on Pratipada. She is also known as Hemavati, Bhavani, and Parvati. Her pictorial depiction carries a Trishul in her right hand and a lotus in her left hand. Let’ have a look at the way Navratri is celebrated in different states.
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Navratri is celebrated in the form of ‘Pujo’ in West Bengal. Durga Puja of the state is famous, for ‘Pandals’ are set up in every nook and corner with different themes every year. The idols of goddess Durga made here are worth looking at. Mahishasur Mardini Ma Durga is worshipped in ‘Pandals’. Idols of other Deities are also kept along with the goddess. The main prayer starts from the sixth day of Navratri. ‘Mahalaya’, ‘Shashthi’, ‘Mahasaptami’, ‘Mahashtami’, ‘Mahanavmi’ have great importance.
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Bihar and Jharkhand
In both states, glimpses of Bengal can be seen. Mahishasur Mardini MA Durga is placed in Pandals. Here Devi is considered the goddess of Shakti and Tantra and that is why in some temples of Bihar the ritual of Bali is still followed. Practices to remove negative powers from the houses are also performed There is a ritual of ‘Kalash Sthapana’ in every house.
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In the nine days of Navratri Kirtan of Singh Vahini Maa Durga and Jagrata is done at night. There is a ritual of fasting in the initial seven days while on the eighth and ninth day nine girls are worshipped and they are known as Kanjika.
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On the first day of Navratri, clay pots are established wherein supari, coconut and silver coins are kept. A Diya is lit in the clay pot and every night, the people of the area come together to worship nine forms of the goddess. Garba and dandiya dances are also performed the entire night.
People light ‘Akhand Jyoti’ in their homes on this occasion and keep it lit for nine days constantly. On Dussehra, the males of the house worship their cars, tools etc.
North Indian States
Ram Leela is performed in these states. The stage is set and artists enact the story of Ramayan and on Dussehra, ‘Ravan Dahan’ is done.
South Indian States
Navratri is celebrated similarly in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Small idols are made during Navratri and they are not just of the gods but also the bridge, groom, horse cart, house of clay etc. A special staircase kind of a thing is also made to keep them.
In these states, this festival is known as Golu, Bomma Golu, Bombay Habba. On the first day Ganpati, Saraswathi, Parvati and Lakshmi are worshipped and on the ninth, Maa Saraswathi.