The literal translation of Navratri is ‘Nine Nights’. This is celebrated in honour of Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga is celebrated and worshipped in all of her forms.
This is a very significant festival for Hindus and is celebrated twice a year. Once in March or April (“Chaitra Navratri’) and the second time in September or October (“Sharad Navratri”).
Like any Hindu festival, there are many legends behind the festival and why it is celebrated.
One of the legends talks about Mahishasura who was a very powerful demon. Mahishasura became immortal with the blessings of Lord Shiva, there was no weapon that could kill him. With the new found power and immortality, Mahishasura started to kill innocent people on earth. To combat this evil, Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other Devas combined together created Goddess Durga.
Goddess Durga and Mahishura were at war for nine days and on the tenth day Durga defeated the demon by beheading Him. These nine days of war symbolises the war between Durga and Mahishasura.
The other legend behind Navratri states that; to kill Ravana, Lord Rama worshipped Durga and all nine of her forms for nine days. On the tenth day Lord Rama killed Ravana and defeated him. This is celebrated as Dussehra or as it’s otherwise called: Vijay Dashmi.
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