Navarathri or the nine nights sacred to the Mother Parasakthi are celebrated in the month of September / October. Navaratri Puja begins on the Puratasi Amavasai day, a day before Navratri begins. All arrangements are done on this day. It commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over a demon, Mahishasur. Endowed with power, by the blessing of Lord Shiva the demon started destroying innocent people.
The gods invoked Goddess Durga and asked for her help. The goddess, astride a lion fought with the demon and cut off his head.In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka dolls called Bommai kolu are placed and decorated. Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswathi are worshipped for three days. Gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets are exchanged. Scenes culled from various stories in the epics and puranas are displayed.
The Navarathri festival celebrations at Ahmedabad and Baroda are famous throughout Gujarat. Here the evenings and nights are occasions for the fascinating Garba dance. The women dance around an earthen lamp while singing devotional songs accompanied by rhythmic clapping of the hands. In Punjab, Navarathri is a period of fasting. Let Annai Parasakthi bless all of us.