A Hindu festivals in which worship of the various Rupas i.e. the various incarnations of Durga and it basically translates into Nine Nights. It is during these 9 days that the Nine Forms of the female energy are invoked and worshipped.

The dates of this festival are decided according to the Indian Lunar calendar and it is celebrated four times in a year. As the beginning of spring is very important because it marks out a new beginning and autumn is a very important part of the weather shift that takes place in a year, the Sharada Navaratri which is celebrated in the month of September-October and the Vasanta Navaratri celebrated in the month of March-April is the most important.

Of these two the Sharada Navrratri is considered the most important and is known as ‘Maha Navratri’.

The Great Navratri also marks the beginning of winter.

Origins and Significance of Navratri

Goddess Durga who is considered a Deity and basically is a manifestation of Energy or Power is worshipped in various forms during these nine days.

Some of the Important incarnations of Durga that are worshipped are Kali, Annapurna and Durga herself.

The Day after these nine days i.e. the tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra. The tenth day that marked Durga’s victory over Mahishasura it is known as Vijaydashmi

Throughout India it is celebrated with much enthusiasm and people usually fast for the Nine days which mark the festival, the Navratri festival in Gujarat is one of the main festivals and is among the most mentionable as there are huge Garba (a traditional dance form of Gujarat) dances organized which have large live orchestras and thousands of people dancing together. In West Bengal it is the chief festival and beautifully made life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her victory over Mahishasura are worshipped all over the state as well the country.

The way Navratri is celebrated in Gujarat and other states has also increased its popularity throughout India and among Indian communities around the world including UK and USA.

This festival is also considered a very good time to start new ventures, and during this time a pot is installed at a special pre-decided place at various homes and then a lamp is lit inside it which is kept lit uninterrupted during the nine days. Also an important tradition of this festival is the worship of pre-pubescent girls.

This year Maha-Navratri will be celebrated between 13 October to 21 October 2015.

Navratri Cards

They usually consist of various images of Maa Durga and can also sometimes consist of all the forms of Shakti that are worshipped during the nine days, these cards usually depict Maa Durga slaying Mahishasura along with the traditional Navratri greetings. Now-a-days even E- Cards are a very popular way of sending wishes to your loved ones.

They also sometimes contain the depiction of ornately decorated facial features on the main page with a special emphasis on her kohl lined eyes which are said to bestow blessings on all her devotees.