Navratri 2018 has begun from today and will continue till October 18. With the first Navratri today, the festive season of the year has also set in. Over the next nine days, devotees in India will worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga and will celebrate Dussehra or Vijay Dashmi on the tenth day, i.e., October 19. During Navratri, several devotees visit the holy shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir as they consider it auspicious. They take the pilgrimage and also perform Kanya pujan at Vaishno Devi Bhawan. Sharad Navaratri 2018: What Are Nine Avatars of Goddess Durga or Navdurga? Pictures, Mantras & Celebration Dates of Navratri Festival.
Vaishno Devi is believed to have emerged when three manifestations of the Goddess - Mata Maha Kali, Mata Maha Lakshmi and Mata Maha Saraswati - got together as one. Maa Vaishno Devi is believed to be the human form of Devi who was sent to Earth to protect what is right. Devotees during the Navratri chant devotional songs for Mata Vaishno Devi and also chant the Durga stuti. The devotees also listen to the Vaishno Devi Katha during Navratra. Here is the story of Maa Vaishno Devi
Devotees also listen to devotional songs (Mata ki Bhente) by popular singers including Narendra Chanchal, Anuradha Paudwal and late Gulshan Kumar. Here are some popular devotional songs sung by Narendra Chanchal.
During the nine days of Navratri, devotees worship the nine forms of Durga Maa known as Navdurga, on each day. Each of her manifestations – Shailaputri, Brahmacharirni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri – is worshipped on each of the nine nights of Navaratri. According to traditions, all her nine forms have emerged out of the three major forms of the Goddess – Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. Each represents the energies of the holy triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Maa Durga is known by 108 names and some among them are Adi Parashakti, Devi, Bhavani, Amba, Parvati and Yogmaya. Navratri 2018 Dates, Days & Tithi Calendar: Shubh Puja Muhurat & Time for Aarti During Nine-Day Sharad Navaratri Festival.
In West Bengal, this celebration is marked by the Durga Puja which will begin on October 15 this year. In Gujarat, people celebrate it by performing the traditional dandiya and garba with each other. In North India and central India, people observe fast during the nine days of Navratri and end the fasting by performing a kanya pujan in which they worship nine little girls and feed them prasad.
The festival of Navratri ends with Dussehra or Vijay Dashmi. This year, Dussehra is on October 19, which will mark the end of Navratri.