Despite the basic narrative remaining intact, Navaratri as a festival is celebrated across India in a variety of ways. Some call it to be Durga Puja, while others as Bommai Kolu, Garba rass in the western side of the country and Kullu Dassehra in the Northern parts of India. The country in not only plural and diverse in it’s habits but also in the culture of festivities and celebrations. People of India do not leave out any occasion of a beautiful celebration!
Durga Puja In Eastern India
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The last four days of Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja is the eastern side of our country. The states of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa celebrate Navratri in this form with utmost amount of joy and happiness! These four days are very special as people get to meet each other during this time, there is a lot of food and best of all, the celebration of good over the evil!
Durga Ashtami In Punjab
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Punjab never waits for a festival for far too long! Navaratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami by the Punjabis for seven whole days! Every night there are jagrans taking place where people gather together to sing songs. Fasts are broken on Ashtami and Navami with worshiping of nine young girls who are then given good food, gifts and are considered to be representations of Maa Shakti!
Bathukamma Panduga In Andhra Pradesh
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The occasion of Navaratri is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh in the form of worshipping Maha Gauri. She is considered to be the goddess of womanhood and for nine days the people of Andhra Pradesh come together to worship the goddess by weaving flower stacks together! These flowers are then floated in a nearby waterbody as a sign of worship.
Garba Dandiya Raas In Maharashtra And Gujrat
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The first nine days of the month of Ashvin is celebrated in the manner of Navaratri in these two states of the country. This Dandiya Raas is one of the most colorful and cheerful festivals in all of India! This occasion marks the celebration Maa Shakti with dias, light and garba which is a dance form popular in the western side of India.
Bommai Kolu In Tamil Nadu
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In Tamil Nadu, the festival of Navaratri is adorned with worshiping of not one goddess but three. Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi are worshiped three separate days in this state during Navaratri where gifts are exchanged and relatives meet with each other. In Kolu aspect of the celebration, makeshift staircases are decorated with dolls and it is splendid sight to watch these dolls decorated who are said to have been passed from one generation the next one!
Kullu Dussehra In Himachal Pradesh
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Kullu Dussehra marks the return of Lord Rama to his birthplace Ayodhya which is a narrative within the Hindu mythology. Unlike other states, the celebrations in Himachal starts on the tenth day of Navratri which is also the day the celebrations end for all other states! During the previous nine days, locals gather together and show their respect to Goddess Durga!
These festivals are celebrated in different forms but carry the same message of destruction of the evil through the good. The concept of the victory of the good over evil marks the event of Navratri. People from far off come together during this time to meet their loved ones. They celebrate, eat and unite to mark the event of good, joy and happiness.