300 days ago
The Navratri Hindu festival began last week, running this year from Thursday 21 September until this Saturday, 30 September.
This sacred festival Sharad Navratri is a nine-day long fiesta that celebrates the nine avatars of Goddess Durga and the triumph of good over evil.
Across the nine days, Hindus worship various forms of Goddess Durga to be blessed with power, wealth, prosperity and knowledge. In order to be blessed with positive virtues, many devotees observe a fast for nine days, particularly in North India.
Among the many rituals of Navratri, there is also a common tradition followed by women across Gujarat and Maharashtra where they dress in beautiful attire, according to special Navratri colours dedicated to each of the nine days and the nine forms of Goddess Durga.
The festival also embraces traditional dances like the Dandiya and Garba Rass. Many larger communities get together and dance while enjoying nightly feasts.
Geeta Vaiwala is one of hundreds of Sodexo people celebrating this special time. “Navratri allows me to be free and socialise with friends and family in a colourful and eventful way,” says Geeta, pictured right with her friend Trushna.
“The evenings are exciting – getting dressed in beautiful outfits and dancing the night away to live singers at a chosen venue. Prayers are completed each night and prashad (blessed food) is distributed amongst all, after which the dancing continues.”
We wish all our Hindu colleagues a very happy Navratri!
Read more about this year’s Navratri colours.
Did you know?
The word Navratri stands for nine nights in Sanskrit (‘nav’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning nights).
In India the most colourful and elaborated celebration of Navatri is in Bengal where huge idols of the goddess are worshipped.
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