Navaratri means “nine nights” in Sanskrit and is the name for five Hindu festivals celebrated at different times of the year. But the one celebrated at the start of the autumn, the start of the bright fortnight (waxing moon) of the lunar month Ashwin (October 13 this year), is the most important and is frequently called the Great Navaratri.
During these nine nights, nine aspects of a goddess are honored, but which goddess depends on the traditions in the region. For instance, in some places, various aspects of Durga (or Kali) are honored during the first three days; then three aspects of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; followed by three days devoted to Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom. Continue reading