Sarva mangala maangalye shive sarvaartha saadhike
Sharanye traiyambake gouri naaraayani namostute
Navratri is the festival that is filled with the divine lights and full festivity. The festival of Navratri is the mixture of worship of Goddess Durga and fun all around. The festival Navratri is celebrated mainly two times in the whole year once in the month of March or April other one in the month of September or October. The whole festival of nine days is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Along with this, the festival is the most awaited festival for all the age groups.
The Chaitra Navratri is also called as Vasant Navratri, Ram Navratri or Chait Navratras and is observed in the month of March- April according to the Hindu calendar normally in North India. This year in 2010 the festival is begining on March 16th and is getting over on March 24th. The festival celebrates the Goddess Shakti which is represented through three forms- Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
The festival is celebrated twice in a year. One is after Holi that is in the month Chaitra Shukla Paksha from Ekam (known as the first day) and ends on Navmi (ninth day). These are called as the Vasant Navratri. This Puja is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
During the month of Ashwin Shukla Paksha on Ekam (the first day of the Navratri) to Navmi (ninth day). These nine days are called as Sharadeeya Navratri and in these nine days devotees pray to Goddess Durga. It is believed that on the eight day Durga Maa was born, therefore the puja of eighth day is having a special significance.
The festival is celebrated in the country with great enthusiasm and excitement in whole of the country. This vibrant festival is celebrated in ten days and night which is normally spent in Puja and worship. The celebrations of Navratri also varies from place to place. In Gujarat and the western parts of the country the traditional dances like Garba and Dandiya takes place. The people wears colorful Indian attires and dances all through the night. In West Bengal, the festival is celebrated as the Durga Puja and is celebrated with the huge devotion and the huge idols of Goddess Durga is worshiped possed as killing of devil Mahishasura. The people wears the colorful clothes and also offers prayers to the Goddess Durga. In Punjab, the Navratri festival is celebrated by fasting for seven days. On eighth day, the fast is broken by offering prasad to the young girls.