Navratri is the most auspicious Hindu festival which is celebrated till nine days. This day is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. Navratri starts from October 1st and ends on October 11th, 2016. This festival is celebrated by Gujarati, Bengali and Maharashtrian communities. The word ‘Nav’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night in Sanskrit, hence ‘Navratri’ means nine nights of celebration, during which nine forms of goddesses are worshiped. And so, the festival is also known as Durga Puja.
It is believed that Lord Shiva granted permission to his wife Goddess Durga for seeing her mother for just nine days. During that time, Goddess Durga demolished demon Mahishasura. Hence Goddess Durga aka Kali is represented as a symbol of shakti – the ultimate strength. It is also said that Maa Durga has eternal divine power, which can never be created nor destroyed.
Goddess Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Maha Gowri and Siddhidayini are worshipped each day. Navratri is all about traditional dance forms performed for nine nights. The entire Navratri festival is about praying, fasting as well as savouring delicacies, dancing and enjoying for the nine days
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There is a ritual attached to it that involves washing the girls’ feet to show respect and offering a new attire in the form of gifts. Each and every Goddess hold importance and is worshipped with religious fervour. There is a myth which says that performing special pujas lifts divine spirist and God grants one with happiness for the rest of his/her life. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami , wherein devotees immerse idols of Goddess Durga into the water.
Navratri ends with Dussehra, a festival that is celebrated to denote the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. Thus, Navratri itself symbolises victory over evil. The effigies of Ravana are burnt on this day. People also offer prayers to their weapons on this day, and take the blessings of their elders.

Shailaputri’ means the daughter of mountains also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. ‘Shail’ means mountains and ‘Putri’ means daughter. She is the first among Navadurgas and devotees worship her on the first day of Navaratri. Goddess Shailaputri symbolizes the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She is quite recognizable as she rides a bull and carries a trident along with a lotus in her hands. According to Hindu mythology, Shailaputri is believed to be the rebirth of Sati. She was the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Lord Shiva. Shailaputri is associated with Lord Shiva. Red is the color of the day.

2. Navratri Day 2: Goddess Brahmacharini:
Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri festival. This is the second form of Durga who took various births to attain Lord Shiva as her husband. Brahmacharini also known as Tapashcharini, Aparna and Uma. She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. Goddess Brahmacharini holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. On this day, women in India observe a rigorous fast to attain peace, prosperity and happiness.

Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri festival. This is the second form of Durga who took various births to attain Lord Shiva as her husband. Brahmacharini also known as Tapashcharini, Aparna and Uma. She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. Goddess Brahmacharini holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. On this day, women in India observe a rigorous fast to attain peace, prosperity and happiness.
3. Navratri Day 3: Goddess Chandraghanta:
Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. She is also known as Chandrakhanda, Chandika or Ramchandi. Her name resembles crescent moon which is worn by her on the head. Chandraghanta, totally different from that of Durga, who shows her angry side when provoked. Devotees believe that this Goddess blesses them with a lot of courage and bravery.
4. Navratri Day 4: Goddess Kushmanda:
Goddess Kushmanda the fourth form of the Hindu goddess Durga worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg. It is believed that the darkness in the universe ended with her divine smile and then there was the beautiful beginning of creation.
5. Navratri Day 5: Goddess Skanda Mata:
Goddess Skanda Mata, is the fifth form of Goddess Durga and Skanda means Kartikeya and Mata means mother. She grants her devotees with wisdom, power and prosperity. She is also regarded as The Goddess of Fire.
6. Navratri Day 6: Goddess Katyayani:
Katyayani, the sixth form of Goddess Durga is also known as a Warrior Goddess. It is said that she eventually led to slaying the demon, Mahishasura and then mounted the lion given to her by Goddess Gauri.
7. Navratri Day 7: Goddess Kalaratri:
Kalaratri, the seventh form of Durga who is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe. Kalaratri or Shubhamkari – is the violent form of Goddess Durga. It is said that she licked the blood of demon Rakta Beeja, who had the potential to create demons from his blood.This form of Goddess depicts the darker side of life.
8. Navratri Day 8: Goddess Mahagauri:
Mahagauri the eighth avatar of Goddess Durga who is known as a ray of lightning. According to myths, she performed rigid Tapas without moving her body. Due to which heavy amount of soil and dust got collected on her body and Lord Shiva cleaned her with water from Ganga river. Therefore, purity is depicted in this form of Durga.
9. Navratri Day 9: Goddess Siddhidatri:
Siddhidatri, ninth avatar of Mother Goddess who provides knowledge to her devotees. The knowledge that she provides makes one realise that it is only her who exists, in short she is the supreme power of all perfect things. In this form she is seated on a lotus flower and holds variety of things in her hands including lotus, mace, conch shell and discus.