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Hindus Celebrate Navratri in Pakistan (Opinion)

Navratri, (Sanskrit: “Nine Nights”) in full Sharad Navratri, Navratri also spelled Navaratri, in Hinduism, a major festival held in honour of the divine feminine. Navratri occurs over 9 days during the month of Ashvin, or Ashvina (in the Gregorian calendar, usually September–October).

Navratri (from Sept 26- Oct 5th) is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in the whole world with devotees to the Goddess Durga honouring 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 10th 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 (26th Sept) signifies the color 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 (27th Sept) signifies the color 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 (28th Sept) signifies the color grey and the tithi is Tritiya or Chaturthi. On this day, devotees worship the Kushmanda form of Goddess Durga. Meanwhile, grey refers to the destruction of evil.

Day 4 (29th Sept) signifies the color orange and the tithi is Panchami. On this day, devotees worship the mother of Lord Kartikeya – Skanda Mata. Orange symbolises brightness, knowledge and tranquillity.

Day 5 (30th Sept) signifies the color white and the tithi is Shashti. Devotees on this day, pray to Goddess Katyayani. White denotes calm, peace, serenity and purity.

Day 6 (1st Oct) signifies the color red and the tithi is Saptami. On this day, the disciples of goddess Durga worship the Kalaratri form of the deity. Red symbolises passion as well as anger.

Day 7 (2nd Oct) signifies the color blue and the tithi is Ashtami. On this day, Maha Gauri.

Each evening is dedicated to honouring one of ‘nine manifestations of goddess Durga’, who in Hindu mythology is known for her strength, power and the ability to protect.
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.
This fumes of light, colour, music and dandiya dance. This view is not of any region of our country, but this spectacular view is from Karachi city of Pakistan, where Navratri festival is being celebrated fiercely these days. Girls perform Garba dance on the third day of Navratri in Karachi.

Although the number of Hindus in Pakistan is very less and there are reports of inhuman treatment from the majority of the people on the daily basis. However, this time also the enthusiasm of Navratri is visible among the minority Hindus there. People are celebrating Navratri with great pomp.

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