From Himachal To Tamil Nadu, Here’s How The Indian States Celebrate Navratra!

Sonali Gupta
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Different states, different cultures, different festivals, and so many ways to celebrate them! In India, as one festival ends, preparation for other festival begins! As soon as we’re done with ‘Ganpati’, Navratri is around the corner and it’s time to celebrate again. Mythology says it’s the celebration of winning a nine-day long battle, at the end of which goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura (a demon). It is the win of good over evil.

But not all of India celebrates the festival in the same way. So here’s a look at how each state celebrates these nine sacred days in their own ways:

1. West Bengal, Assam, Bihar & Jharkhand

In the eastern parts of India, the last four days of Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja. It is the most popular festival there. They celebrate the victory of goddess Durga over the evil buffalo Mahisasura. It is not just celebration of good over evil but also the greatness of females.

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2. Gujarat

The first nine days of the month Ashwin is welcomed with dhol and dandiya all over Gujarat. Devotees generally worship Maa Shakti by keeping fast. In the evening, they use earthen pot, Garbi for aarti which symbolizes the source of life after which traditional dandiya and garba dances are performed by men and women.

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3. Delhi

This part of India celebrates Dusshera or Vijayadashami in a very different manner. The capital city celebrates victory of King Rama over Ravana. In the great Indian epic of Mahabharata, on the 10th day of the battle, Rama defeated Ravana. Every colony or society celebrates this victory by burning the ten-headed Ravana or performing Ramleela.

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4. Maharashtra

For all Maharashtrians, Navratri stands for new beginnings. Hence, they consider it to be the best time for buying property or making big business deals. Married women apply kumkum and Haldi and exchange gifts. They also celebrate Dandiya or Garba nights just like in Gujarat, given the vast population of Gujaratis here.

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5.Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu folks dedicate their nine days to worship goddess Durga, Saraswati, and Lakshmi. Married women are often gifted bangles, bindi, and other ornaments. A fascinating ritual is kolu, where a makeshift staircase is decorated with dolls that are said to be passed from generation to generation.

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6. Himachal Pradesh

Here, Dusherra celebration starts on the 10th day when rest of the states end their celebration. It is called Kullu Dushhera remarking the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. During these nine days, the local Hindu families enjoy festivities by hosting get-togethers.

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7. Kerala

As the festival signifies good over evil, Navratri is associated with education in Kerala. Keralites consider these nine as most auspicious for learning or starting something new. They worship goddess Saraswati and place book next to her statue during the last three days of Navratri.

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8. Andhra Pradesh

In Andhra, the 9 days are dedicated to Maha Gauri, a goddess representing womanhood and people celebrate Bathukamma Padunga. Women make flower stacks with local flowers and at the end of the 10th day, the stack is left afloat on a water body.

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9. Punjab

Punjabis generally fast for seven days of the Navratri. On the 8th or 9th day, they break their fast by inviting nine girls from their neighborhood and honor them with gifts, food, and money. These nine girls are called “Kanjaks” and are considered to be the representatives of nine avatars of Goddess Durga.

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10. Karnataka

They celebrate the 9 days as one of the most royal and lavish festivals. The marvelous palace of Mysore is decorated with lights and flowers. “Jamboo Savari” is a famous procession there, that takes place during Dusherra and involves elephant parades, wherein one of them carries Goddess Chamundaeshwari.

 

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Let’s witness one of this celebration every year. This year my trip will be to Gujarat to see Navratri. Where will you go to enjoy your Durga puja? Tell us in the Comments below!

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