Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Navaratri!

Today marks the beginning of Navaratri, a nine-day Hindu festival - the Sanskrit name translates to "nine nights" - which celebrates the Goddess or female aspect of the divine in nine different forms. Like many Hindu holidays, Navaratri is celebrated in various different forms across South Asia and among the Hindu diaspora elsewhere.

 Lotus flowers (Nelumbo nucifera) at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina - Many forms of the Goddess are commonly depicted holding a lotus bud

The "nine nights" are followed by the festival of the "tenth day" or Dussehra, which concludes the celebrations and is also known as Vijayadashami. In some parts of the Hindu world  this represents the climax of the celebration of the Goddess, while elsewhere it is more of an independent holiday focusing mainly on the god Rama. And among the many traditions associated with Navaratri and Dussehra, there is even one that is at least somewhat pertinent to the usual subject matter of this blog: in some parts of northern India, people plant barley seeds in clay pots on the first day of Navaratri, and on Dussehra the nine-day old sprouts or noratras are used as a symbol of good luck.

3 comments:

  1. great photo of the lotus
    That festival sounds great, it would be nice to go and see it someday

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  2. I love the idea of nine forms of the female aspects of divine. How intriguing to plant barley seeds.

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  3. I love your idea. Cheers to you on Navratri festival. Expressing my heartwarming Navratri wishes to my family and friend!

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