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