Are you ready for Navratri?
For those who are not ready, or not even aware of Navratri, here is a brief overview.
Navratri is the festival of nights (lasting nine days). It is celebrated twice in a year with great devotion all over India, and also in parts of other countries where there are Indian communities.
Navratri means nine auspicious nights, and the festival is celebrated for Goddess Durga in her nine different forms on the scheduled nine days of the Hindu calendar. One of the most celebrated festivals amongst Hindus, Navratri symbolises the destruction of the evil, and the triumph of good over evil.
There are two major Navratri’s celebrations; Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri. Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in spring (around March ) and Sharad Navratri is celebrated in a big way in Autumn. This year Navratri starts from 10th October to 18th October.
The Navratri celebration and worshipping style varies from state to state in India, and also around the world, but the devotion is same for the festival wherever it is held. It is widely celebrated with great enthusiasm, but sometimes with different names given to the goddess. For example Durga Puja or Jagdamba are used in some places.
This festival is celebrated for nine days by two popular dance forms dandya and graba dance forms. Dandya is performed with two sticks, and Graba is generally with the clap of your hands to the beat of the music. These dances are usually performed in the evening.
Navratri season is eagerly awaited every year, and gives everyone the opportunity to dress in traditional attire. Indian women started to wear different colours on each of the nine days. This trend has become increasingly popular, and is now followed by majority of women during Navratri.
The colours for this year (2018) are as follows:
Day 1 – Royal Blue – represents strong energy and tranquillity. The Goddess will bless the devotees with prosperity and happiness.
Day 2 – Yellow – represents happiness and brings optimism and confidence in life. Meditating in yellow will help in the development of a positive attitude.
Day 3 – Green – represents prosperity, unconditional love and richness. This is the colour of nature, which is calm and gentle. By wearing this colour devotees believe they will improve their relationship.
Day 4 – Grey – will connect you to divine power and protection.
Day 5 – Orange – colour of fame, name and money, and also increase the charisma of your aura.
Day 6 – White – is the symbol of peace, prayer, faith and stability. The Goddess will cleanse the devotees mind and spirit of those wearing this colour on this auspicious day,
Day 7 – Red – the symbol of power, passion and fervour. This is the Goddess’s favourite colour
Day 8 – Sky Blue – represents immensity and faith. This colour helps you in gaining the spiritual awareness.
Day 9 – Pink – represents hope and new beginning.
What to Wear?
For those of you who would like to know about what to wear for Navratri, I have put together some ideas and tips. These can be found below.
You can wear a variation of Channiya Choli, Salwar Kameez, Saree, or a Lengha Suit and Long Dress.
If you are going to wear a Channiya Choli or Lengha Suit, wear a comfortable one so that your outfit does not get in your way whilst dancing. Remember to pin your duppatta the right way so that it doesn’t fall off your shoulder, meaning you have to keep adjusting it time and again.
The length of your outfit should be just below or above your ankles so that it won’t get under your feet while dancing, as this dance is generally performed in bear feat. If you are going to wear shoes make sure they are flat, or you can wear mojari (traditional Indian shoes). These are comfortable, easy to wear, and are available in various colours to match your outfit.
Generally, outfits for this festival are very bright and colourful, full of heavy embroidery and glass work, and worn with a contrasting colour choli (blouse) to stand out. Here are some ideas for those who would like to wear a simple yet elegant outfit, but still want to stand out from the crowd.