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Navratri: Celebrating the Mother Goddess


Navratri: Celebrating the Mother Goddess

Sonali Perera


Navratri is a nine day Hindu festival in mid October celebrating the victory of good over evil. During this festival, Goddess Durga, the mother Goddess, who symbolizes creative energy and the feminine body is worshipped in her three main forms - Saraswati, Parvati, and Lakshmi.

Different regions in India have their own tradition in celebrating Navratri. I am Gujurati, and we celebrate Navratri doing Garbha (Indian folk dance) and Dandiya Raas (folk dance using sticks). During Garbha, women dressed in beautiful, colorful Lenghas, dance around a clay pot filled with water, a betel nut and a silver coin with a coconut placed on top of the pot. The clay pot symbolizes the womb, the source of life on earth. 

The nine days of Navratri are filled with pujas, fasting, meditation, singing and dancing, honoring the Mother Goddess and what she stands for, in her three forms. On the first three days, Goddess Durga is worshipped to destroy impurities, vices and defects. On day 4-6, Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of spiritual wealth is worshipped. On the last 3 days, Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom is worshipped. We need blessings from all three aspects of the forms of the Mother Goddess be successful in life.