The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights
Navaratri theoretically falls twice or four times a year. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri near autumn equinox (September–October) is the most celebrated
The festivities extend beyond goddess Durga and god Rama.
Various other goddesses such as Saraswati and Lakshmi, gods such as Ganesha, Kartikeya, Shiva, and Krishna are regionally revered
Best Places to Celebrate Navratri in India
North India, Delhi
In North India, Navaratri is marked by the numerous Ramlila events, where episodes from the story of Rama and Ravana are enacted by teams of artists in rural and urban centers, inside temples or in temporarily constructed stages.
This Hindu tradition of festive performance arts was inscribed by UNESCO as one of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2008.
Eastern India, West Bengal
The Navaratri is celebrated as the Durga Puja festival in West Bengal.
The occasion is celebrated with thousands of temporary stages called pandals are built in community squares, roadside shrines and large Durga temples in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Tripura and nearby regions.
One of the most significant days of Durga Puja celebrations is the sixth day, called Shashthi where the local community welcomes the goddess Durga Devi and festive celebrations are inaugurated.
Navaratri in Gujarat is one of the state’s main festivals.
The traditional celebrations include fasting for a day, or partially each of the nine days such as by not eating grains or just taking liquid foods, in remembrance of one of nine aspects of Shakti goddess.
The prayers are dedicated to a symbolic clay pot called garbo, as a remembrance of the womb of the family and universe.
The clay pot is lit, and this is believed to represent the one Atman (soul, self)
In Karnataka, Navaratri is observed at home and by lighting up Hindu temples, cultural sites, and many regal processions.
It is locally called Dasara and it is the state festival (Nadahabba) of Karnataka.
Of the many celebrations, the Mysuru Dasara is a major one and is popular for its festivities and Mysore elephant procession.
In Karnataka starting seventh day Saraswati pooja also starts where books on ancient Indian traditions and books of children are kept for pooja.
These books are worshiped and read on the 10th day the Vijaya dashami.