Navratri is a nine-day-long Hindu festival. The celebration honors the Goddess Durga. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/CC BY-SA 4.0

Navratri, a nine-day-long festival, is celebrated in honor of the Hindu Goddess Durga. Navratri is literally translated to nine nights and it symbolizes the purity and power of Goddess Shakti. Navratri pujal (prayer ceremony) combines multiple aspects such as fasting and a ritualistic prayer ceremony and is accompanied by impressive celebrations for each night. Navratri in India follows the lunar calendar and falls in March/April and again in September/October.

The background story follows the Goddess Durga slaying the demon “Mahishasura.” It represents the victory of good over evil and how a divine female goddess was able to vanquish a demon which no other “man” was able to do. 

It is very important in every Hindu household, but it is very special for my aunt so all the celebration planning is left to her. She plays religious music and cook meals every night.

We follow Sikhi (which is the proper way to say sikhism) and Hinduism so we are very aware of both religions and their teaching. It is mostly my aunt who celebrates this since her childhood. She has a small temple built in her living room where she keeps a lamp lit for nine nights and even sleeps by it for the duration of the holiday and makes sure the fire never burns out. 

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