Get ready for nine nights of music and dancing…
When: Varying dates in September / October. October 16th – 24th 2012, 5th – 13th October 2013.
Navratri (literally meaning “nine nights”) is one of the greatest Hindu festivals and one which symbolises the triumph of good over evil and in which God is adored as Mother. It is actually held several times a year with the most important being around harvest time. As the name implies, this festival is celebrated for nine days.
Navratri is also known as Durga Puja and during Navrati, the deities Durga (the Mother Goddess), Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped. It is said that Lord Shiva gave permission to Durga to see her mother for nine days in the year and this festival remembers her visit. Families generally return home to visit parents during the festival.
There is music and dancing and nightly feasts of delicious food where specific dances are performed by the men and women. Women dress elaborately in beautifully decorated costumes. In India, the most colourful celebrations are in Bengal, where huge idols of the goddess Durga are worshipped. After having worshipped the Goddess for nine days, her image is taken to the streets in a procession and to mark Durga leaving her mother after the nine day visit, her image is cast into water.
Navaratri is traditionally considered a very good time for starting new ventures. For women, Navaratri is a time for shopping for new clothes and pots. It is an auspicious time to buy gold or jewellery and the gold markets are open late each night.
More pictures from the fabulous Navrati festival on flickr
Eat Sabzi Kari (vegetable curry). Drink Lassi (or Indian beer)
Travel to Bengal, India
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Enjoy your trip! And when you’re home we’d love you to come back and tell us all about it!