Navarathri Festival

Navarathri (Nine nights) Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Madurai. It is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Meenakshi. The Goddess is adorned and worshiped in her nine forms during this festival. According to the Vedic calendar, Navarathri is held in the nine lunar days that is said to begin after the new moon in the Vedic month of ‘Purattasi’ (September-October). The festivities of Navarathri begin with the first phase of the moon after Mahalaya Amavasya (no moon day) and conclude with Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami, as it is popularly called.                          

Navarathri Festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Sakti over Mahisasura, the buffalo-demon. The destruction of all demons are nothing but representing the negative attributes inside each of us which need to be destroyed. Goddess Sakti is said to have killed the demon on the eighth lunar day. Therefore, the eighth day of the festival is also known as ‘maha astami’ (astami meaning eight). On this occasion, the devotees of Goddess Sakti observe a fast for nine days. Many people refrain from having non-vegetarian food.

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