Folk-tales of Bengal 1912
Illustrations by Warwick Goble
“At the door of which stood a lady of exquisite beauty.”
Arriving in the hue of Spring determined by the lunar calendar, Navratri meaning Nine nights, denotes the festival of devotion dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga and the celebration of Goddess Amba (Power).
Chaitra Navratri is observed in the month of Chaitra. This is worshipped widely across north Indian states in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand.
Devotees worship Maa Shakti, Goddess of cosmic power, during this time seeking to be bestowed by divine benediction from Goddess. Fasting and praying mark the Navratri celebrations.
On the first three days, Durga- Goddess of Energy is worshipped. The next three days are devoted to Lakshmi or Goddess of Wealth and the last three days for Saraswati or Goddess of Knowledge.
On the eighth and ninth day, Yagna (sacrifice offered to the fire) is performed in honour of Durga Mata and to bid her farewell. On these days, Kanya Puja is also observed where nine young girls (those who have not reached puberty) representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped.