The air reverberates with the spirit of goodness and togetherness, as seen through the grand celebrations and prayers during the festival of Navaratri. The word translates to 'nine nights' in Sanskrit and at the heart of its festivities lies the legendary story of Goddess Durga, who represents the 'Divine Feminine' and triumphed in the battle against the demon Mahishashura who had taken the form of a buffalo. A season to seek strength and rejoice in the aura of goodness, let us delve deep into understanding more about this festival that we love and look forward to every year.
When it comes to mythological and spiritual scripts, the concept of worshipping the 'Divine Feminine' is as old as human civilization itself. Throughout the Vedas, multiple references have been made in songs and prayers regarding the feminity of divine forces. And one such revered feminine force is Goddess Durga, whose 9 manifestations are worshipped on each day during Navaratri. The 9 forms of Devi Maa include Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. The story of her battle is also seen by many as one that is about conquering elements like ego, anger and other obstacles and to be able to fill their life with purity and goodness. Another tale regarding the origin of Navaratri is the epics of Ramayana, wherein upon their journey back home after succeeding in the battle against Ravana, Lord Rama and Sita pray to the Divine Mother for her blessings and guidance.
As far as Navaratri celebrations go it is as diverse as the length and breadth of our country, but its essence remains the same amongst all communities. In Eastern India, it is a famous practice to set up large and grand pandals with different themes and a shrine for Goddess Durga, along with other deities. With great pomp and fanfare, priests perform rituals and entire communities get together to pray and rejoice before the idol is immersed in the river. As we move to Northern India, Navaratri celebrations include enacting the Ram Leela, where effigies of Ravana are burnt to symbolise the victory of good over evil. Additionally, people get together for sacred ceremonies and sing hymns to honour the Divine Mother and all her creations. It is also common for friends and family to gift each other sweets and clothes. In stark contrast, Western India celebrates this fortnight through the vibrant Garba and Dandiya-Raas dances. It involves groups of women dancing gracefully together in circles around a lamp, signifying life within the womb. The complex rhythm and synchronised movements is a sight to behold. In Southern India, Navaratri is synonymous with 'Golu' which refers to an elaborate showcase of various dolls and mythological figurines. It's customary for people to invite friends and family to view this, along with musical and dance performances. On the 9th day, Ayudha Puja is celebrated in many households, where all forms of instruments, machinery, books and tools are worshipped along with Goddess Saraswati.
Being a cultural extravaganza, each of the 9 nights of this festival is associated with a specific colour carrying great significance in its strokes. People tend to incorporate these colours into their outfits for their celebrations and believe in its auspiciousness. Here is a list of the colours allocated for each day along with what it symbolises.
Day 1 - Orange (Signifies positive energy and happiness)
Day 2 - White (Signifies purity and peace)
Day 3 - Red (Signifies beauty and fearlessness)
Day 4 - Royal Blue (Signifies good health and prosperity)
Day 5 - Yellow (Signifies peace and joy)
Day 6 - Green (Signifies new beginnings and growth)
Day 7 - Grey (Signifies transformation)
Day 8 - Purple (Signifies the power of peace and intellect)
Day 9 - Peacock Green (Signifies the fulfilment of one's desires)
This Navaratri season, Sundari Silks presents to you a specially handcrafted collection of half-sarees, pattu-pavadais and lehengas that reverberate with the many magical moods and memorable moments that this festival brings us.