Literally translating to "Nine Nights", Navratri is a Hindu festival, which this year is celebrated from September 26th to October 5th. It is a festival celebrating the Divine Feminine, in the form of the Goddess Durga. In Hinduism, the Divine Feminine is called 'Shakti' - it is seen as the divine cosmic power through which the universe functions.
Navratri celebrates the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura, and through this, the victory of good over evil. Over the nine nights of Navratri, the nine different forms of the Goddess Durga are worshipped - each embodies different traits, such as love, strength, and determination. We’ve listed out the nine different incarnations below, with some of the interpretations of what they symbolise:
Embodiment of nature, love, and compassion
Embodiment of determination and penance
The representation of fearlessness and bravery
Exemplification of strength, who brought light to the universe
The mother of Skanda, she is the epitome of motherly love
Embodiment of power that destroys evil
Personification of the destruction of ignorance and darkness
Representation of serenity and purity
The manifestation of ultimate happiness and accomplishment
The festival is celebrated through prayers and fasting, as well as traditions unique to different regions. One form of celebration is a dance called Garba, which comes from Gujarat in India. In other regions, figures and dolls are arranged in tiers in a display called a 'Golu'. Traditions each have specific significance and meaning - how do you celebrate Navratri?