Posts Tagged ‘Hindu festival’

Navratri

March 30, 2009

Navratri is a Hindu festival of worship of Goddess Durga the  form of  Shakti . The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava meaning Nine and Ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi i.e. female divinity are worshipped.
Significance.


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Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navaratris. The Devis worshipped depend on the tradition of the region.

  • Durga, the inaccessible one
  • Bhadrakali
  • Amba or Jagadamba, Mother of the universe
  • Annapurna, The one who bestows grains (an) in plenty (purna)
  • Sarvamangala, The one who gives joy (mangal) to all (sarva)
  • Bhairavi
  • Chandika or Chandi
  • Lalita
  • Bhavani
  • Mookambika


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The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.

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1. Sharad Navaratri – This is the most important of the Navratris, and is simply called Navratri or occasionally, Maha Navratri (the Great Navratri). It is celebrated during Sharad (beginning of winter, Sept-Oct). It celebrates the slaying of Mahishasura by the goddess Durga. The festival is observed in most parts of India, particularly in Northern India, Eastern India, and Western India.

2. Vasant Navaratri – This is celebrated during Vasant Ritu (beginning of summer) (March- April). This Navaratri is celebrated in North India. Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu observes Navaratri during this period.

3. Ashada Navaratri – This Navaratri is particularly important for all Upasakas of Varahi- Celebrated in July-August. This is called Guhya Navaratri in Himachal Pradesh. Varahi is one of the seven Matrikas of Devi Mahatmya.

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Maha Shivaratri

February 25, 2009

Shivaratri is usually falls every year on the Krishna Paksha dark Phalgun month (Feb or March) every year.

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Maha Shivaratri (Night of Shiva) is a Hindu festival, celebrated all over the country with much pump and enthusiasm. The festival is exclusively dedicated to Lord Shiva which is known by thousands of names. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Mata Parvati.

Arti of Lord Shiva

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On the auspicious day, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. It’s a day to pray to the almighty for wellness. Almost all Hindus throughout the world offer prayers in the morning/evening and some observe fasting throughout the day. Most people visit the nearby temples of Shiva and offer prayers in large crowds. On this day Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and “bel leaves” on “Shiva Linga” and  devotees light candles and “diyas” which is a lamp made usually of clay, with wick made of cotton and dipped in ghee throughout the night theses diyas are the symbol of spiritual manifestation.