Navaratri or the festival of nine nights dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga commences this year from 13th October 2015. During these nine nights, the nine forms of the goddess are worshipped. The nine days culminate in the tenth day being Dushhera (Dasara) or Vijayadashami.
Navratri or nine nights, is when Goddess Durga, and the various forms of the Hindu deity are specially worshipped. Navratri is celebrated five times at different times of the year in different parts of India – Vasanta, Ashad, Sharad, Paush and Magha. Of these Sharad Navaratri or Maha Navaratri as it is popularly known is celebrated every year on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month Ashwin of the Hindu calendar. Within the Navratri, in Bengal and a few states of the North East, the last four days are celebrated as Durga Puja and on the fifth day the Durga idols are immersed in some river nearby.
Navaratri is celebrated with all pomp and gaiety in India and neighbouring Nepal. Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, arrives twenty days after Navaratri.
Goddess Amba, the Power
Navaratri is a celebration of Goddess Amba or Maa Shakti. This period is considered to be very auspicious and a unique period of devotional sadhanas and in the worship of the Force or power known as Shakti. Shakti is the Power of the Divine conceptualized in the form of Maa Durga, the positive energy that destroys all evil. The worship of this form has been from pre-historic times, much before the dawn of the Vedic Age. All forms of worship were directed towards attaining true knowledge and the ultimate realization of the Supreme Power of Gayatri or Brahma Shakti. Gayatri Mantra was the core-focus of daily practice of meditation and devotional worship for everyone in those days and remains so till now. As guided by the rishis, specific sadhanas and upasanas of the Gayatri Mantra were sincerely practiced during the festival period of Navaratri by every aspirant of spiritual enlightenment. Hence this period of Navaratri has assumed special significance.
Celebrations across India
Dushhera of Kulu in Himachal Pradesh is one of grandeur and gaiety after the nine days of Navaratri. It is very famous in the North. In Gujarat Navaratri is a festival of splendor, full of dance and devotion. You have the traditional Garba where the photo of the Goddess is kept in the centre and all the womenfolk who participate dance around it in a circle singing the garba songs. Men dressed in the traditional attire of Garba, the tight pyjamas from above waist, downwards, with a short tunic above the waist with full sleeves play the Dandiya Raas to the tune of fast beat garba songs. This is mostly seen in the rural areas of the state and still very attractive to look at. The last two decades has seen the Disco Dandiya Raas prevalent in the urban areas where the glittery costumes of traditional chaniya choli with a lot of mirror work are worn by females, while the males prefer conventional dresses and modern looser versions of the traditional costume. Generally a large scale ground is preferred since it is a fun-filled extravaganza more for enjoyment than devotion and there are performing bands which belt out Hindi filmy tunes for garba songs and the beat is catchy for participants to display their dancing skills.
Bengal has the Pandal celebrations for Godess Durga from Mahalaya or the fifth day of Dushhera. the massive idol of Mahishasuramardini killing Mahisha the demon is displayed in garish colors. After four days of celebrations, the idol is immersed in some nearby earmarked water source on the fifth day or after Durgashtami.
Karnataka celebrates the Navaratri festival culminating in Dushhera very grandly. The Goddess is worshipped in all temples across the state and on the ninth day it is Ayudha Puja or worshipping of tools used in the profession performed especially by the industrial workers and those engaged in trades of different sorts like forging, carpentry, mechanical works etc. The last three days of Navaratri are also celebrated as Saraswati Puja with text books, and other reading material kept in front of Goddess Saraswati.
Similarly in Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, the Navratri is celebrated in accordance with the local custom and tradition. In Telangana the same period is known as Bathukamma and celebrated with homage to Goddess Durga in another form.
The daily decoration of the Goddess for nine nights
The saree or fabric that is draped around the idol of the Goddess has a different color each day and prescribed according to the ancient texts based on the different forms or incarnations that the Goddess assumes and the attributes of that form.
The associated colors are said to be – Red or Maroon for Sunday, White or Cream for Monday, Orange for Tuesday, Green for Wednesday, Yellow for Thursday, Silver for Friday, Blue for Saturday. The table shows the colors of the goddess’ attire and the corresponding color of attire that the devotees should wear.
|Color of saree of Goddess||Color of attire of devotees|
|Peacock Blue or Green||Pink|
The objective of devotees wearing certain color on each of the nine days is to create maximum affinity and benevolent effect in relation to the color of the attire of the Goddess.
The nine forms that are generally worshipped during this period are Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba or Jagdamba, Annapoorna Devi, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika or Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika.
India is a land of traditions and traditional observances and Navaratri or the festival of nine nights is a very popular one celebrated with a lot of devotion and gaiety.
Unnati Silks and Navaratri
While devotion has many forms, Unnati silks displays its devotion to the Goddess in this auspicious period by handsome Sale and bargain offers with the purest weaves in fabrics – the handlooms.
Plain, simple coloured, lightly adorned cotton, silk blends worn for daily routine, jazzy stylish heavily decorated silks with finery and additive features for exclusive weddings, grand parties, social invites – the array is wide and varied for a whole lot of occasions. Fabrics of cotton, silk, jute, nylon, rayon, Georgette, chiffon, satin etc, blends of silk and cotton, jute and silk, cotton, two different types of silk, mercerized cotton with average quality silk, are some of the interesting fusion combinations for fabric weaves available at Unnati Silks that are prudly displayed on occasions like Navaratri.
The sheer purity of offerings from Mysore, Kanchipuram, Dharmavaram, Banaras, the dazzle of the Paithani, Narayanpet, Uppada, Chanderi and Kota silks, Tants from Bengal, soft diaphanous sarees from North East, fine Lucknowi chikans, smooth Madurai, Kanchi, Andhra Handloom cottons – Indian handlooms have variety and diversity and the Navaratri fabric feast with the massive discounts is Bonanza time for one and all. Inspiring breath-taking weaves of good texture, fine thread counts, beautiful patterns and motifs displayed in a myriad of colours have seamlessly included the modern saree-lover’s likes and preferences in new colour shades, embellishments on the saree, abstract and fancy prints, without sacrificing the essence of the ethnic quality. A breath-taking range and healthy mix of varieties and styles of weaving that highlight the ethos and culture of a land steeped in tradition, handlooms from the four corners of India, from the 21 states of the country contribute to India’s cultural heritage. A stunning display of fine arts and craftsmanship, that has raised a simple traditional fabric like the saree into a fashion statement.
Finely woven, exclusively adorned, skill and craftsmanship displayed in all aspects of each offering, the outcomes are the awe of the average buyer, the reason for a connoisseur’s delight. Flawless exhibition of finesse, they are the untiring devoted efforts of traditional artisans, sensational offerings that amaze and astound.
The rich look silks, exclusive and pricey for those special occasions, the lesser priced designer art silks, sicos for the trendy look, a shade lower with the abstract design, modern art types, the cheaper summer comfort cottons and a lot of intermediate ranges – quality handlooms, attractively priced, suited for every need. Fabric of allure, elegance and sensual appeal, the saree comes in a myriad of colors in traditional silk, cotton and other fabrics. Wedding Pattus, designer sarees, modern art silks and other varieties owe part of their look to the choice of colors in the combinations. Dark colors, light hues, Pastels, Neons and other choices make for a wide and varied range to choose from.
Unnati Silks is synonymous with tradition and handlooms the first and prime love since inception. It is occasions like festivals that bring out the best in offerings that are captivating, colourful, creative and charismatic. They are inspirations that renew the faith that handlooms are part of the Indian social fabric and something that can be proudly showcased to the world.