Navratri is Sanskrit word which means nine nights. Navratri is a multi day Hindu festival and celebrated in the autumn every year.
Navratri has different reasons in various part of Indian subcontinent and also celebrated differently.
In east and north-east state the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navratri. wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma.
In north and west states, It is synonymous with “Rama Lila” and “Dussehra” that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.
According to books, there are four Navratri but it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharad Navratri that is the most celebrated in Indian culture.
In Tamilnadu it is known as golu
1 ) Sharada Navratri
It is most celebrated navratri in hindu festival which comes after end of monsoon that’s why it is also called post monsoon navratri.
2 ) Vasanta Navaratri
Vasanta which means spring. It is second most celebrated navratri in hindu culture. This is celebrated on the lunar month of ‘Chaitra’ or after post winter session (In March – April).
3 ) Magha Navaratri
It is celebrated in winter session (In January – February).
4 ) Ashada Navaratri
It is celebrated in start of the monsoon season (In Jun – July).
Each day of Navratri celebrates a certain incarnation of the goddess and each day has a color attached to it. Here are nine days nine avtar in Navratri.
1 — Navratri First Day
Devi : ShailaPutri
On this day the incarnation of Parvati, called Shailputri, is worshipped. Shailputri represents purity and nature.
2 — Navratri Second Day
Devi : Brahmacharini Devi
Second day of Navaratri celebrates Brahmacharini, the virgin form of Parvati.
3 — Navratri Third Day
Devi : Gayatri Devi
Third in Navratri celebrates Gayatri. This form of Parvati rides a tigress and is generally associated with bravery and courage.
4 — Navratri Fourth Day
Devi : Annapurna Devi
The fourth day of Navratri goddess Annapurna is worshipped.
5 — Navratri Fifth Day
Devi : Lalitha Devi
The fifth day of Navaratri celebrates Lalitha Devi.
6 — Navratri Sixth Day
Devi : Katyayani Devi
The sixth day of Navratri Katyayani is worshipped. Katyayani is the form that Goddess Parvarti took when she took on the demon Mahishasura. This is the warrior form of the goddess.
7 — Navratri Seventh Day
Devi : Saraswathi Devi
Seventh day of Navaratri is celebrates the goddess Saraswathi ans is worshipped as Kalaratri. As Kalaratri, the mother goddess destroyed several demons in her battle against Mahishasura. Kalaratri is the fiercest form of the goddess.
8 — Navratri Eighth Day
Devi : Durga Devi
The eight day of Navaratri is Durga Ashtami, the color to be worn on the day is purple.
9 — Navratri Ninth Day
Devi : Mahishasuramardhani Devi
The ninth day of Navaratri is Mahishasuramardhani.
Final Day or Dushhera
Devi : VijayaDurga Devi
The tenth day Dussehra celebrates the Goddess victory over the Evil.
Navratri is celebrated different ways in various part of india. In Northern, Central and Western states of India, the Ramlila play is enacted during Navratri. In Gujarat Garba night is organised to celebrate navratri. In West Bengal and near states Navratri is celebrated as the Durga Puja festival.
In some places in India, Animal sacrifice( called “bali” in Hindi) is part of durga puja festival in navratri. In which they offer animal to DURGA MAA. It is belief that it stimulates her violent vengeance against the buffalo demon.