Navaratri (nine nights) is one of the greatest Hindu festivals. It symbolises the triumph of good over evil. Navratri takes place at the beginning of October around harvest time and, as the name implies, this festival is celebrated for nine days. Navratri is also known as Durga Puja.
- The first form of Goddess Durga is called Shailputri . She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the consort of Lord Shiva.
- The second form of Goddess Durga is known as ‘Brahmacharini’. Her name is derivative of the word ‘Brahma’, which means ‘Tapa’ or penace. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati, a form of Mata Shakti.
- On the third day the goddess is worshipped as Chandraghanta. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery.
- Kushmanda, is the form of the goddess which is worshipped on the fourth day. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe and she has created the entire Universe by her laugh.
- On the fifth day, the form of Goddess is called Skand Mata. She is actually called so because she is here represented as the mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army.
- On the sixth day, the goddess is worshipped as Katyayani. Seated on her vehicle lion, Katyayani has three eyes and four hands.
- On the seventh day, the Goddess is worshipped as ‘Kalratri’. As the name suggests, Kalrati is as black as a dark night. She has four hands, she is meant to make the devotees fearless
- On the eight day, the Mata Rani is worshipped as ‘Maha Gauri’. She is considered to extremely beautiful, white like snow and accessorized with white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.
- On the ninth day, Durga is worshipped as Siddhidatri. It is believed she consists of all the eight siddhis. She lives on lotus and is worshipped by all the Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Sadhakas and Yogis.
Additional information on this auspicious event can be found on BBC website – click here