Come September October and India suddenly gets transformed into a haven of music, dance, tradition and celebration. For this is the time of Navratri, the festival of power with colourful intonations of winning good over evil. This nine day festival is celebrated in honour of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Navratri means nine nights and is celebrated in various ways across the country in various Navratri colours
In all the places where it is celebrated it signifies the victory of good over evil and it is the Goddess Shakti who is always propitiated. Such a worship of the Mother Goodess is unique to Hindu religion and the festival welcomes the beginning of the winter season. This is also the time when Nature is going through lot of changes.
Beginning on the first day of the brighter half of Ashwin which falls sometime in September to October, Navratri ends on the ninth day of this Indian month of Ashvin. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami or Dussera. According to Hindu mythology, this is the time Goddess Durga won over the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura . It is said that Goddess Durga fought for nine days and nine nights and she came out victorious on the tenth day.
Goddess Shakti is worshipped in nine forms during Navratri, and people pray for wealth, knowledge,
prosperity and success. It is said that the first three days are for the aggressive form of the Goddess, – Kali. The next three days are for wealth so Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and the last three days are for Goddess Saraswati , the Goddess of wisdom and learning.
With the Navratri colours augmenting celebrations and happiness, the dandiya raas that is played during this time, is only a manifestation of our inner joy. Thus this is a festival that really is welcomed by all and is an ideal way of endorsing goodness in the world.
People greet each other and exchanged haldi kumkum and gifts. Golu in South India is famous during this time and is a way of invoking the blessings of the Goddess, through keeping small dolls and decorating it in steps.
West Bengal prays by invoking Goddess Durga, while the western part of India plays the garba or dandiya raas.
In many states in India, they wear particular colours during Navratri. The Navratri colours this year in 2013 are :