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Navaratri

Navaratri
Place: All over India
Month : October
Significance:Celebrating the victory of good over evil
Date:21.9.2017 - 29.9.2017

Navaratri is the longest Hindu festival celebrated all over India for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Rama (Hero of the Epic Ramayana) and Goddess Durga from September end to early October. Continuous chanting from the great epic 'Ramayana', along with evening performances from the episodes of his life are held for nine days. On the 10th day falls Vijayadashami or Dussehra.

Navaratri is a combination of many concepts, with the common theme of the victory of good over evil. One concept is that Vijayadashami or Dusshera is celebrated on the day Rama kills Ravana in the Rama Ravana war. Another concept is that, Durga, goddesses of power and vitality who is believed to have nine forms called Navadurga, takes a new form on each of the nine days (celebrated as Durga Puja ) with the arsenal of weapons to ride a lion and fight the demon Mahishasura. The 10th day on which the goddess kills Mahishasura, is celebrated as Dusshera or Vijayadashami as the victory of good over evil. Lord Rama is said to have worshipped the goddesses, seeking her blessing in order to overpower the evil force of Ravana, the abductor of his beloved Sita.

The most joyous celebration of Navaratri is seen in Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bengal. In Gujarat, every night people gather in courtyards to dance the Garba and Dandiya Raas, a community dance in which men and women dressed in festive clothes dancing in pairs with Dandiya or painted wooden sticks. Goddess Durga's three 'Sakthipithas' in Gujarat; Ambaji in Banaskantha, Bahucharaji in Chunaval and Kalika on Pavagadh hill in Panchmahals are thronged by devotees during Navaratri. In West Bengal, it is celebrated as Durga Puja where beautifully decorated images of the goddess are worshipped in specially erected Puja Pandals.  

It has special significance in Mysore, South India. Mysore palace is illuminated for a whole month during Dusshera and caparisoned elephants lead a colourful procession through the gaily decorated streets of the city. Here and in North India, on the 10th day, larger than life effigies of Ravana (the Asura King), his brothers Meghnada and Kumbhakarna filled with different fire crackers are set alight to celebrate victory of good over evil.

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