Navratri is a nine nights Hindu festival, celebrated post monsoon autumn every year. Sharada Navratri that is most observed in the honour of the divine feminine Devi (Durga).
The festival is celebrated in calendar month ‘Ashvin’, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of September and October.
In the eastern and north-eastern states of India, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to restore Dharma.
In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with Ram Lila and Dusshera that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Best things to do in Navratri are:
Nine Days Dandia Night or Garba
The Dandiya and Raas Garba are the two famous traditional folk dance of Gujarat and Vrindawan. Now a day everywhere it is performed during the Navratri evenings at every place. You can learn how to play or perform Dandiya and Garba so that you can also enjoy it by performing.
Idols of Maa Durga
Idols of Maa Durga are placed in pandals along the roadside. These pandals are well decorated with artistically depicted idols of goddess Durga. Nowadays along with idols of goddess Durga theme based drama or some skits or play are also performed for entertainment.
It is the famous and main ritual of worship and part of Durga Puja. During the Durga Puja in Bengal; ritual drummers, dhakis, carrying large leather strung dhak, show off their skills during ritual dance worships called Aarti or Dhoop dance.
Traditional dishes are prepared and offered to Maa Durga during Navratri. Dishes like sada aloo sabudana kheer and singhade ka halwa are healthy, traditional and very delicious Navratri special dishes.
Visit Nearby Temples
During Navratri, You can also visit famous temples like Maa Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu & Kashmir, Maihar in Madhya Pradesh, Dongargad in Chhattisgarh, Dakshineshwar temple in Kolkata, Danteshwari temple in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, etc. all these temples are decorated very nicely and you can also enjoy melas or fair during Navratri time.
Free Food Stalls
You can distribute free food as a Prasad to all Bhakts of Maa Durga who travels to temples by foot. By this, you can help the bhakts of Maa and you can earn good deeds and get blessings from Maa Durga.
It is believed that girl child represents the forms of goddess Durga and worshiped on the eight and ninth day of Navratri as Kanya Puja. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of the goddess are worshiped and offers bhoj and new clothes as gifts as a mark of respect for the goddess.
So many Navratri melas & fairs are organized nearby the Temples and Durga Pandales during the Navratri season. People gathered here with their relatives and friends. You can enjoy food at local stalls of mela and shop for traditional stuff from the mela. You can enjoy bhakti geet and involve yourself in bhakti and praise Maa Durga.