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Navratri 2023

Authored by Alice Broome
Published on 15th October, 2023 1 min read


Today (15/10/2023) marks the start of the Hindu festival Navratri. 

Lasting for ten days and nine nights, Navratri is observed by Hindus in honour of the goddess Durga. Durga is one manifestation of the supreme goddess Adi Parashakti. The festival ends with Dussehra, the celebration of good over evil, on the tenth day. There are a further three festivals called Navratri celebrated throughout the year, but Sharad Navratri is considered the most significant. 

Navratri is an important festival because it honours the death of the demon Mahishasura at the hands of Durga. It is said that Mahishasura was blessed with immortality by Lord Brahma due to his dedication to him. The only caveat was that he would die if killed by a woman. Mahishasura did not believe any woman would be strong enough to kill him and so he accepted the compromise. As Mahishasura grew more powerful and attacked people on earth, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva came together to create a goddess with the power to kill Mahishasura. Hence, Durga was created. Durga is said to have fought Mahishasura for ten days before defeating him, hence the length of the festival. 

The festival is celebrated around the world in diverse ways. Whilst some Hindus spend the festival reflecting and fasting, others take part in dancing and eating celebratory meals. Each day is represented by a different colour. These symbolise Durga’s nine incarnations and some Hindus dress in the corresponding colour for each day.

Happy Navratri from British Online Archives. 

Authored by Alice Broome

Alice Broome

Alice Broome is an Editorial Assistant at British Online Archives. She is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics graduate from the University of York.

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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