Navratri 2012-Sharad Navratri 2012
When: 16th October – 23rd October
Where: Gujarat, West Bengal and other parts of India
To the uninitiated, the numerous Hindu deities pose confusion especially when each of their special days are honored and celebrated. This is exactly what happens in India when their Mother Goddess is worshipped and honored on her special day.
Navratri 2012 can roughly be translated to the Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter. The underworld overlord Hades fell in love with Persephone and married her. In her absence, her mother Demeter, the goddess of harvest, would cry and let the crops die. Upon her return, Demeter would again be happy and make sure that the earth blooms for her welcome.
Navratri is literally ‘nine days,’ which refers to the number of days that the faithful devotes in celebration and worship to the Hindu deity Shakti (the female creative energy or the cosmic energy) and her various manifestations. Hindus take cue from seasonal changes to worship the Divine Mother: in the beginning of spring and the beginning of winter. Hence, there is Vasant Navratri (spring) and Sharad Navratri (fall).
About the Event:
The first three days of the celebration honor the Hindu goddess Durga or the Warrior Goddess. The next three days are devoted to the goddess Lakshmi or the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. The Hindu deity Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge) is honored on the last three days.
Devotees in India and Hindus elsewhere go on fasting on these nine-day celebration but feed the Brahmin (or Hindu priest) to propitiate the “shakti” or the cosmic energy so they will be eternally blessed with prosperity, wealth and knowledge.
There are various rituals performed, including enthroning and worshipping pre-pubescent girls (appropriately attired and adorned as divine manifestations of Shakti) on the 9th day.
From a health point of view, fasting prepares the body for the coming change of the season.
Vasant Navratri falls on April 11 and ends on April 19 next year, while Sharad Navratri begins on October 5 and ends October 13 2013.
Hindus regard this occasion as a highly religious celebration, but nothing has stopped modern India from commercializing Navratri. As a traveler, expect that the streets will be thronged with devotees who participate in processions or perform religious rituals in honor of a major Hindu deity. Merrymaking is typically reserved at the end of the nine-day period when devotees consider this day as the triumph of good over evil.
India can practically fill the calendar for the whole year if allowed to celebrate their deities every day. Navratri is different because it is a celebration of the Hindu Mother Goddess which affords travelers the occasion to witness and even experience in-depth the religious significance of the celebrating the ‘creative female energy.’
A very warm wishes to everyone celebrating Navratri this year.!may god shower you all with loads of happiness and blessings.!