Celebrating Navratri In Pakistan’s Largest City

Celebrating Navratri In Pakistan’s Largest City.

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Navratri, (Sanskrit: “Nine Nights”) in full Sharad Navratri, also spelled Navaratri, is a major festival in Hinduism, held in honour of the divine feminine. Navratri occurs over nine days during the month of Ashvin, or Ashvina (in the Gregorian calendar, usually September–October). Navratri (from 26 September to 05 October) is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in whole world, with devotees to the goddess Durga honoring her nine forms over the nine days.

During this period, devotees observe a fast, perform a worship ritual called puja and celebrate the nine displays of Durga’s feminine power to the world. Each day is marked with a different colour and worshippers dress in the colours which correspond to each day. The tenth day after the nine nights is celebrated as Vijayadashmi, the celebration of good over evil. It is also called Dussehra or Vijayadashami.

Here is a list of the colours, with the dates and their significance:

Day 1 (26 September) is ruled by the colour yellow and the tithi is named Ghatasthapana or Pratipada. The Shailputri – the daughter of the Mountain King Himavat – form of Durga is worshipped on this day. Yellow signifies joy and cheerfulness.

Day 2 (27 September) revolves around the colour green and the tithi is Dwitiya. On this day, Brahmacharini, the unmarried form of the goddess Durga, is adored and worshipped. Green denotes various aspects of nature and its nourishing qualities.

Day 3 (28 September) is about the colour grey and the tithi is Tritiya or Chaturthi. On this day, devotees worship the Chandraghanta form of goddess Durga. Here, grey refers to the destruction of evil.

Day 4 (29 September) is based on the colour orange and the tithi is Panchami. On this day, devotees worship the goddess Kushmanda. Orange symbolises brightness, knowledge and tranquillity.

Day 5 (30 September) is based on the colour white and the tithi is Shashti. Devotees on this day pray to Skanda Mata, the mother of Lord Kartikeya. White denotes calm, peace, serenity and purity.

Day 6 (01 October) revolves around the colour red and the tithi is Saptami. On this day, the disciples of goddess Durga worship the Katyayani form of the deity. Red symbolises passion as well as anger.

Day 7 (02 October) is about the colour blue and the tithi is Ashtami. On this day, Kaalaratri is worshipped.

Day 8 (03 October) revolves around the colour pink and Mahagauri is worshipped.

Day 9 (04 October) is based on the colour purple and Siddhidhatri is worshipped. The purple colour signifies admiration for the beauty of nature.

Girls perform Garba dance on the 5th day of Navratri in Karachi

Each evening is dedicated to honouring one of nine manifestations of the goddess Durga, who in Hindu mythology is known for her strength, power and the ability to protect.

This year was no different. The festivities continued till midnight, when there was an arti and puja followed by prayers for shakti – strength or power. This was followed by a prasad distribution for the devotees to break their 24-hour-long fast. Alongside, there was also cake-cutting, which the younger devotees enjoyed very much.

It became an evening of light, colour, music and dandiya dance. This view is not of any region of our country, but from Karachi, the city of Pakistan where the Navratri festival is being celebrated enthusiastically these days. Girls perform Garba dance on the third day of Navratri in Karachi.

The number of Hindus in Pakistan is very less and there are reports of inhuman treatment from members of the majority community on a regular basis. However, the enthusiasm for Navratri is quite visible among the minority Hindus in Pakistan.

The fiery joy of the festival has not been allowed to go out.