The festival is celebrated to worship the divine Goddess Durga. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. There are in total five types of Navaratri that occurs in a year, Sharada Navaratri or Maha Navratri is the most popular one. Navratri commences on the first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwini. This year Maha Navratri will be celebrated from 21st September - 30th September.
The auspicious ten days refer to 10 evils namely-
Kaam (Lost), Krodh (Anger), Lobh (Greed), Moh (Attachment), Ahankar (Ego), Darr (Fear), Irsha (Jealousy), Jadta (Inertia), Nafrat (Hate), Paschataap (Guilty).
Each day devotees procure a vow to destroy one evil from them. On the tenth day, Vijaya Dasami is celebrated to win over all these negativity.
· In Gujarat, Garba is a dance, which people perform on all nine nights, after the Durga Puja, in groups accompanied by devotional songs.
· In North India, all the three Navratris are celebrated with enthusiasm by fasting on all the nine days.
· Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahishasura are set up in temples and ‘Pandals’. These idols are then worshiped for five days and immersed in the river on the fifth day.
· Another established practice is of sowing pulses, cereals and other seeds on the first day of this festival in a pot, which is watered for nine days at the end of which the seeds sprout. This custom is also indicative of fertility worship and is known as \"Khetri\". The sowing and reaping of barley is symbolic of the \"first fruit\".
Do not cut your nails for all these days till Ekadashi.
Do not have a hair cut also during this period.
Do not stitch or knit during this period.
Do not leave the Jyot to burn it out. After puja, with the help of some flowers you should put to rest the Agni, which stood as the witness to your puja and offering.
Do not dust your home or at least in the Puja Room/Place and in Kitchen.
Do not study anything on the 9th day; instead you should keep all your books and other modern gadget near the Goddess and seek her blessing.
· To ward off evil planetary disposition worship accordingly in these days-
Moon – Durga
Moon and Rahu - Para Sakthi.
Mars and Moon- Lalitha
· For problems related to marriage wear Gauri Shankar Rudraksha on any of the auspicious days of Navratri after taking bath. Wash the Rudraksha with water, honey, curd and milk and pray to Lord Shiva and Parvati for redemption from marriage problems.
· For peace in home keep Parad Shivling in your Puja Ghar, feed the dogs daily.
· Keep seven Ashoka Tree Leaves in your puja place and replace it after they have dried off.
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