By Harshika Kapoor

The Navratri celebration began on 21st September 2017, and it won’t be stopping anytime soon (i.e, till nine days of Navratri are over).
It is majorly a Hindu festival that is celebrated by the Hindu majority of India, with jest and enthusiasm. For a whole week, or more, you can see temples adorned with lights, playing Mata’s bhajans on loud speakers, daily langar, worshippers worshipping the idol of Maa Durga,
vendor selling chaniya choli and dandiya.
Now that Navratri is finally here, let’s dicuss some of the reasons as to why it’s celebrated so lavishly and some facts about it. There are also various stories that different religious sects talk about and believe, those are also going to be mentioned in this article. Let’s begin then, shall we?

1) Meaning of the word — “Navratri”
According to the Devanagari script of Hindi, Nav means nine and Ratri means night. Therefore, Navratri means ‘nine nights’. There are four navratris in a year, but people geenrally celebrate only two.

2) Maa Durga and Mahishasura
It is believed that Navratri celebrates Maa Durga’s victory in the battle she fought against Mahishasura. Many believe that the Goddess was created to defeat Mahishasura who committed many atrocities against the innocents. Mahishasura anted to marry as he was infatuated by her beauty. As a condition, Maa Durga told him that she’s marry him only if he defeats her in a battle, which went on for nine days and nine nights, and at the end of which, Maa Durga turned victorious.

3) Buffalo Sacrifice
In many different parts of India, innocent buffalos are sacrificed during Navratri. Ever thought why? Well, its is believed that Mahishasura had thee head of a buffalo, therefore, a buffalo is sacrificed during Navratris usually by the priest and it has to be beheaded with a single stroke. The priest recite a mantra in the ear of the animal to liberate it from the cycle of death and life.

4) Nine Days, Nine Avatars
Another reason as to why there are usually 9 days of Navratri is because its is believed that the nine different days of navratri signify the nine different avatars of Nine Godesses. Each day, a different avatar of the Goddess is worshipped.

5) Goddess visits Earth during Navratri
According to ancient scriptures, Lord Shiva gave Maa Durga a leave of nine days so that she could visit her mother, the Earth. Navratari is said to commemorate the Goddess’ visit to her mother’s home (earth), and that is why most people believe that suring these nine days the Goddess is present amongst them.

With the end of this article, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Navratri and may this Navratri bring you
health, wealth, success, empathy, and peace of mind. I hope you found these little stories and facts
interesting and the next time you talk about Navratri, do mention these!

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