Navrarti starts on 13th October 2015, it is a nine day festival celebrated by Hindu that representing the nine manifestations of powerful and benevolent goddess Durga. It means ‘Nine Nights’ in Sanskrit, Nava means ‘Nine’ and ratri means ‘Nights’.
During these nine nights, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as vijayadashami or “Dussehra”.it is a major festival and is celebrated all over India. Diwali is celebrated after the twenty (20) days of Dussehra.
On the first day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is invoked into a kalash with full Vedic rituals along with chanting of mantras. The invocation and dwelling of Goddess Durga into the kalash is known as kalashsthapana and is done into the appropriate time. The Sharad Navratri is the most popular and it is celebrated for nine nights once every year at the last and starting of the month of October.
It may be held for a day more or a less. In the Punjab, it is also known as Navratras or Naratey where some people have a fast on all days and some people having a fast on the first and the last navratras. On the Ashtami, devotes break their fasts by calling young girls at home and these girls are treated as “kanjak”.
They are called “kanjak Devis.” People wash their feet, worship them and giving them the traditional Puri, Halwa and Chana to eat along with Bangles and the Red Chunnis to wear with money as “Shagun” the ninth day is called ‘Navami’ which means literally the ninth day of this holy and pious period.
Another practice is of sowing seeds on the first day if this festival in a pot which is watered for nine days and at the end of which the seeds sprout. This pot is worshiped throughout the nine days and is known as “khetri”. The grains planted on the first day of Navratras, in the pooja room of the house, are submerged in water after saying prayers on Dussehra.
The Mother Goddess is said to appear in nine forms and each one is worshiped for a day. During Eighth or Ninth day, kanya Puja, pre-pubescent girls are ceremonially worshiped.