Maha Navami is celebrated for nine days each autumn after the monsoon season. It is a public holiday in 15 Indian states. In the eastern and northeastern parts of the country, people celebrate the victory of the goddess Durga over evil and the restoration of Dharma, while in the western and northern parts, the victory of the god Rama over the demon is celebrated. Indians are united by one thing – belief in karma and immortality.
There are different versions of the origin of the festival, so all the states of India celebrate it in their own way. But not a single holiday is complete without a scene with scenery and performances, where they talk about ancient legends and read sacred Hindu scriptures. People dance folk dances, and on the ninth day, religious rites of worship of the goddess Durga are held. At this time, everyone observes fasting and perform rites and rituals. On the last day 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 – it will be celebrated in 20 days.
In different regions of India, people honor several versions of the images of the goddess:
- Mahishasura Mandini is the cruel form of the goddess Durga, who appeared after defeating the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
- 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 celebrate
In Andhra Pradesh, Maha Navami celebrates femininity, and the festival itself is dedicated to married women. In southern India, this day is considered the best for starting new business (including material ones, for example, buying real estate), so the goddess of wisdom Saraswati is worshiped there. In the East, this is one of the Durga Puja days, so people pay homage to Mahishasura Mandini. In some parts of the country (West Bengal, Kashmir, Punjab) festivals are marked by goddess worship from girls and couples.
When is Maha Navami celebrated in 2022?