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Customs, Traditions and Rituals of Navratri

Navratri holds special importance in Hinduism; thus devotees of Goddess Durga, follow various sets of rituals for the nine days of Navratri. It is the most powerful period in existence. Navratri celebrates the existence of the ultimate source of power that is the Nine forms of Maa Durga. In the auspicious and awe-inspiring occasion, divine love pervades through all the devotees who indulge in the rituals and customs. These feminine divine energies bring positivity; to the universe during this period.

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1. The auspicious Hindu festival of Navratri celebrates the power of the 9 forms of Goddess Durga.

2. The idols of the goddesses are set in their respective houses. All the family members worship them following the step-by-step traditional rituals of Navratri.

3. The first three days of Navratri are devoted exclusively to the worship of Goddess Durga when her energy and power are worshiped. Each day is dedicated to a different appearance of Durga, namely Kumari, Parvati, and Kali.

4. The fourth and sixth day is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and the fifth to Goddess Saraswati known as Lalita Panchami.

5. The seventh day is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, while the Goddess of Art and Knowledge is worshipped on the eighth day and a yagna is also performed.

6. The ninth day is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri and then comes the great Dussehra Festival


7. On a ninth day Kanya Puja is performed, where nine young girls who have not yet reached the stage of puberty, are worshipped. These 9 girls are believed to symbolize the nine goddesses. These girls are offered delicious delicacies and new clothes to wear.

8. In some northern parts of the country enjoyments like Dandiya and Garba are performed.

9. The nine days are dedicated to different incarnations of Goddess Durga. People follow the custom of wearing the respective colors symbolizing the deity of the day. 
- On the first day, Shailputri Devi is worshipped hence red clothes are worn. 
- The second day is dedicated to Brahmacharini Devi for which blue-colored clothes are worn. 
- On the third day, Chandraghanta Devi is worshipped and 
- On the fourth day, Kushmanda Devi is worshipped where yellow color is worn. 
- The fifth day is in the honor of Skandamata Devi which demands the wearing of grey color. 
- Sixth day and is dedicated to Katyayani Devi where orange is the color. 
- Seventh-day stands for Kalratri Devi where pink clothes are worn and then comes the eighth day which honors Mahagauri Devi. And the ninth day is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri

10. Certain other rituals like the burning of lamps reduce negative energies and help in increasing divine consciousness. People also sow Barley which signifies growth, prosperity, and abundance.

11. There are many other rituals as well followed by people depending on the region they stay in. So, the celebration of Navratri is done by all but in different methods.

Navratri Rituals

Navratri is one of the significant Hindu festivals which is devoted to the Goddess Durga or Shakti. It is celebrated with much religious fervor among the Hindu community across distinct parts of the country. Navratri holds special importance in Hinduism, thus devotees of Goddess Durga, follow various sets of rituals for the nine days of Navratri. They start the rituals by observing a strict fast for nine days, followed by singing devotional songs during these divine nine nights. People visit temples and other religious places and offer prayers to the mother deities to get their utter blessings. Feeding sweetmeats (bhog) to small girls is one of the pious rituals during Navratri(especially in the last three days). 

For nine days, worshipers also install different idols of Goddess inside their home temples. Praying and fasting mark the Navratri celebrations. Before the start of the celebrations, the house is cleaned to welcome the Goddess in their home. The devotees performing the puja observe a fast for all nine days. While fasting only ‘satvik’ food like potatoes, ‘kuttu ka atta’, curd and fruits are allowed. Consumption of non-vegetarian food and also the use of onion and garlic should be strictly avoided. During the Navratri period, while maintaining strict discipline in food, a person should also monitor their behavior. The devotees spend their day worshipping the Goddess and chanting the Navratri mantras. The fast is broken on the ninth day after the ‘havan’ and the Prasad, after offering to the Goddess, is eaten along with other members of the family.

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