Maha Navami is a nine-day festival celebrated each autumn after the monsoon season in 15 Indian states. It is a public holiday and is celebrated with different versions and rituals based on the state. It is a day to celebrate the victory of the divine over evil and the restoration of Dharma. The festival is united by a common belief of karma and immortality and is marked with local scenery, performances, folk dances, and religious rites of worship of goddess Durga.
The origin of the festival is not clear, so it is celebrated differently in different states of India. Nevertheless, the festival always includes scenes with scenery and performances, where ancient legends and sacred Hindu scriptures are presented. People dance folk dances and on the ninth day, religious rites of worship of the goddess Durga are performed. On this day, people observe fasts and perform rites and rituals. After the immersion of the statue of Durga in water and the symbolic burning of evil, the inhabitants begin preparations for the Diwali festival of lights which will be celebrated in 20 days.
The images of the goddess vary in different regions of India. Mahishasura Mandini is the cruel form of the goddess Durga, who appeared after defeating the buffalo demon Mahishasura, while Siddhidatri is a kind form of the goddess who blesses everyone around, gives love to every person and puts light in the heart.
How to take part
In Andhra Pradesh, Maha Navami celebrates femininity and is dedicated to married women. In southern India, this day is considered the best for starting new business ventures and people pay homage to the goddess of wisdom Saraswati. In the East, this is one of the Durga Puja days, so people pay homage to Mahishasura Mandini. In some parts of the country such as West Bengal, Kashmir, and Punjab, festivals are marked by goddess worship from girls and couples.
When is Maha Navami celebrated in 2023?