Happy Navratri: The Goddess Durga Artisans 23


We had to visit Chitaroli one last time to see the final touches being made to the gorgeous Goddess Durga idols, in preparation for Navratri, which starts today! Oh, they were beautiful; faces painted, bangles, jewels and sarees draped. The artisans are so talented and it’s obvious they love, and take pride in, their work. There is such an amazing atmosphere running through those streets! 

There are so many ways to celebrate Navratri (nine divine nights of the Goddess), the festivities vary from state to state, but Hindus around the world will all be worshiping the same Goddess, Durga. Dancing, fasting, feasting, praying, donating to charity and wearing new clothes. It’s an exciting time to be in India.

DSCN3988Here in Nagpur, makeshift temples (pandal) have been put up in every community to host their very own Goddess Durga for nine nights. As you travel around the city, you can see and hear groups of people practicing their garba dancing (a Gujarati folk dance, very popular during Navratri) and fairy lights are being strung across the streets.

The Goddesses in the photographs will have safely reached their temples across Nagpur by now, I cannot wait to drive around and visit as many as I can!DSCN3990

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Durga, navratri, festival, demon, good over evil, beauty, Goddess, Hinduism, Hindu, love, Spirituality, Woman

A scene from mythology where a fierce form of Goddess Durga stands on Lord Shiva

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Durga, navratri, festival, demon, good over evil, beauty, Goddess, Hinduism, Hindu, love, Spirituality, Woman

Scary demon defeated by powerful Goddess Durga

This is my first Navratri, it’s not a festival my family celebrate with great enthusiasm as we have recently pulled out all the stops for Goddess Lakshmi (Mahalakshmi festival, one of the most important events of the year for my family). Goddess Durga is my favourite deity, so I really want to embrace this festival, even if I have to do it in my own little way.

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Do you celebrate Navratri? Please tell me where you are from and your Navratri traditions…


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


23 thoughts on “Happy Navratri: The Goddess Durga Artisans

  • Shubham

    I have ghatsthapna at my home & my mum is a great devotee of Ma Durga as she is our family deity. She reads the Durga saptsati (stories of Ma Durga) during these 9 days.We also keep fasts but now I have my college in Nagpur & I m living away from my home so I haven’ t celebrated it in that fashion for last 3 years. I think we should have a ten days holiday for Navaratri.

  • friend

    @Lauren

    There is a tradition of Jagrata or Jagran followed during Navratras especially on Asthami which is the eight day of the Navaratras. Jagran means awakening. People install the idols of goddess durga and other deities, worship them in makeshift tents. They stay awake all night and there are bands which sing bhanjans on the tune of popular bollywood songs. This keeps everyone entertained. Everyone dances, sings and make merry. At early morning, prasad is served consisting of hawa and chana. This is popular among Punjabis and north indians.

    In Bengali Durga Pooja, the prasad consists of Khichri, Pulao, kheer and other vegetables since Bengalis are rice eaters. Bengali Durga Poojas are basically huge public events like Ganesh Chaturthi.

    All Hindus all over the country follow the same rituals with the slightly different traditions. This makes every experience different.

  • friend

    @Lauren

    Try going to a Bengali Durga Pooja celebration nearby. At night, the decorations are simply out of this world.

  • Ishaan Sharma

    Being a punjabi, my family celebrates by long night fast on the 9th day plus on this day ,my mother brings home 9 small girls below the age of 7 years & me,my father & my mother, wash their feet with our hands. Give them offerings as goddess durga & while going we touch their feet & they pat on our backs. Lauren this is the basic custom in every punjabi household, because goddess durga came on earth as a little girl once in jammu area where vaishno devi temple is located. So, it is a custom to wash their feet thereby touching the feet of women also. lol. So it
    clears one more thing that women are also given respect like husbands, like you had mentioned in your earlier post. Please take it in the right spirit. I am still a bachelor, but your blog is great. It inspires for a lot of things. Can i call you sister-in-law ? BHABHIJI ???

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      That is a very nice tradition, Ishaan. Thank you for sharing!
      I guess the amount of respect in some families is lower than others. I hope that India will have more equality asap.

      Ofcourse you can call me Bhabhi 😀

      Take care!!

  • Genia Hudson Wheeler

    Is there a reason your family doesn’t celebrate this holiday? It is celebrated in your town but not by your family? For those of us who do not understand how this works I was just wondering why that is? Loved the pics.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Genia!

      My family’s deity is Lord Ram (an Avatar of Vishnu) and they celebrate the Goddess in the form of Vishnu’s wife, Goddess Lakshmi. Navratri celebrates the Goddess in the form of Durga, who is associated with Shiva. It’s a little bit complicated for me to understand but that is, as far as I know, the reason behind it.

      Thank you so much for your comment, here is the link to a post about our Goddess Lakshmi festival 😀

      http://englishwifeindianlife.com/mahalakshmi-pooja/

      Lots of love xx

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