Navratri, one of the most important Hindu festivals, is observed across India and by Hindu communities all over the world. But what is it and how is it celebrated?
Navratri, one of the most important Hindu festivals, is celebrated across India and by Hindu communities all around the world. Navratri brings people together to celebrate, reflect and connect!
What is Navratri?
Navratri, from the Sanskrit for "nine nights," is observed in honour of the goddess Durga from 15 October to 23 October 2023. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the elimination of negative forces. During these nine nights, Hindus celebrate the nine different avatars (or forms) of Goddess Durga, the Navadurga, each representing distinct qualities and powers.
Garba and Dandiya Raas
The highlight of Navratri celebrations is the vibrant and energetic folk dances known as Garba and Dandiya Raas. These dances are performed with participants forming circles and using colorful sticks or simply swaying to rhythmic music. Dressed in traditional attire, people come together to celebrate the joy of Navratri through dance and music.
If you’d like to play garba, join us on 24 October for a Navratri Special Garba Night with Harsh, our Activities and Events Officer. We’ll dance, enjoy music and even have a dance competition! There will also be a best-dressed content with prizes for 1st. 2nd and 3rd place. Find out more and book your free tickets here.
Fasting and Feasting
How people celebrate Navratri vary, but many observe strict fasts during these nine days, consuming only specific foods like fruits, nuts, and dairy products. After sunset, families and communities gather for feasts that include a variety of colourful dishes from all over India!
Devotees often visit temples, perform special pujas (prayers), and read sacred texts during Navratri. The ambiance is filled with devotion, incense, and the sounds of bhajans (devotional songs). It's a time for self-reflection and deepening one's spiritual connection.
The Final Day - Dussehra
Navratri culminates with Dussehra, a day that symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It's a day full of festivities and celebration!
Navratri isn’t just a religious event but also a vibrant cultural festival that showcases the rich tapestry of Indian traditions. This festival encourages the values of devotion, unity, and harmony, and we wish everyone a Happy Navratri!