Navrathri - The Most Beloved Festival of India
Think Navrathri and the word creates images of colourfully clad beautiful women and men dancing to the tunes of Gujarati songs. Navrathri is a 9-day long festival celebrated with great zeal all over India. Although the people of Gujarat celebrate this festival in the most unique manner, this festival is also celebrated in different ways in different states in India. Let's learn more about this festival.
The Significance of Navrathri
Navrathri is one of the major festivals in India and it is celebrated to worship the Goddess Durga. It is a nine day-long festival where different nine forms of the Goddess are worshiped every day. Navratri is generally celebrated twice a year – April and October. Many people observe a fast during this festival and also visit temples to seek blessings. The Gujaratis perform their folk dances – Garba and Dandiya to celebrate this festival. Devotees believe that by offering prayers to the Goddess, she will give them inner peace.
It is believed that a powerful demon king named Mahishasura acquired mighty powers by worshiping Lord Shiva. He then began to commit atrocities on the people who believed in other Gods rather than him. He was proud of his powers and began to consider himself as God. To save the world from his evil practices, the holy trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva came together and combined their powers to create Goddess Durga
The demon king got attracted to Goddess Durga’s beauty and sent her a marriage proposal. She agreed to marry him only on one condition that he will have to defeat her in a battle. Mahishasura accepted the challenge. The battle lasted for nine nights and at the end of the ninth night, the demon king was killed by the Goddess. These nine days came to know as Navrathri and hence the people rejoice and celebrate the Goddess’s victory over evil.
Navrathri Celebration Ceremonies
The ceremonies and rituals practiced in various parts of India differ. But a few things are common in every culture. During these nine days, people fast in order to please Goddess Durga. They worship her and offer her prayers asking for the prosperity of their family and business. The temples all over the country are beautifully decorated. People break their fast either on the eighth day, known as Ashtami or on the ninth day, known as Ram Navami. On the Ashtami or Ram Navami, Kanya Pujan is carried out, i.e, worshiping little girls as they symbolize Goddess Durga. They are given a hearty meal consisting of halwa, puri, channa, sweets and are also given some money and gifts. Once the tradition of Kanya Pujan is over, people break their fast. In many cultures, Jagaratas are organized where people sing devotional bhajans for the Devi throughout the night.
Amazing Return Gift Ideas for Navrathri
Indians always seek reasons to gift their loved ones. Festivals are joyous occasions in India and elders often shower their blessings and bestow their near and dear ones with beautiful gifts. Many people have festive get-togethers for their friends and family members. And such occasions without return gifts for the guests seem incomplete. So if you are inviting people for a festive treat, then browse through the list of return gifts for Navrathri, which we have compiled for different age groups.
This 4 x 4-inch Meenakari Manai is the perfect return gift for Navrathri. Boasting of the festive spirit and our traditional culture, this one features a lovely gold finish. It can be used in the Pooja Rooms to place your diyas or idols. It is an excellent return gift for Navrathri. The stool or Manai has a pretty and colourful floral design in the center. You need to place a minimum order quantity of 25 pieces at www.wedtree.in to avail this item. It is priced at Rs. 46 per piece and makes an excellent budget buy too.
If you are looking for traditional return gifts for Navrathri, then you could never go wrong with this stunning Metal Swing in a gold finish. Grab it from www.wedtree.in for Rs. 415 each. One needs to place a minimum order value of Rs. 415. The item features dimensions of 6.5 x 7 x 3 inches. The swing weighs 436 gm. This swing can adorn your showcases or your Pooja rooms perfectly.
Beautiful parrots are engraved on both sides of its pillars holding the swing’s chains. The base of the swing is covered with red velvet fabric. Gift this lovely return gift during Navrathri to your loved ones and garner accolades of praises for your choice.
Maa Durga Ceramic Idol
If you want to gift Maa Durga idol as a return gift, then this one from www.fnp.com is the perfect pick. The idol is priced at Rs. 749. Crafted from ceramic, this idol features dimensions of 3 x 4.5. Maa Durga is sitting on her beloved tiger in this idol. This one surely is the best return gift for Navrathri as it signifies the essence of the festival. One can place this idol in their showcases or even in their Pooja rooms.
Swastika Two-Layered Bamboo Plant
This Swastika two-layered bamboo plant is an ideal return gift as it brings promises to bring peace and prosperity and the Swastika symbols spreads a religious aura. Grab it from www.fnp.com for Rs. 899. The two-layered bamboo plant features a height of 5 inches. It is contained in a round glass vase of 3 x 3 inches.
Natural jute material is wrapped on the vase and swastika symbol is designed on the jute fabric using a rope material. This plant is not only an eco-friendly gift but the bamboo plant will also double the luck of the recipient.
Metal Meenakari Toran Pankhi
Toran is generally tied above the door entrances of houses or Pooja rooms in Hindu culture. If you are looking for a unique return gift that will be loved and cherished by all, then this metal meenakari toran is ideal. Buy it for Rs. 399 from www.nandigifts.com. You get a discount on the item if you place a bulk order of 25 torans or more. The toran features beautiful leaves and motifs further decorated with meenakari work.
Beaded Kumkum Plate
A kumkum plate is of utmost use in Hindu culture while offering daily prayers. This lovely beaded kumkum plate will resonate with the spirit of the festival and also be a very useful return gift. Purchase it for Rs. 120 each from www.nandigifts.com. The plate features dimensions of 8.5 cm diameter and 3 cm height. It weighs 40 gm and is made from plastic and metal.
You also get an awesome discount per plate once you place a bulk order of 25 plates or more. The plate contains two containers for storing kumkum and rice. There is a beautiful Ganpati head motif on the plate which makes it perfect for Pooja use.
No festivals in India are complete without decorating the home entrances with colourful and mesmerizing rangoli patterns. If you are looking for an apt gift for Navrathri, this rangoli design stencil will be most appreciated. This is a ready-made rangoli pattern and can be used for decorating the floors or space in front of the Pooja altar. It comes in a pack and you just need to arrange it. The motifs are embellished with multi-coloured stones. It can be used again and again and is easy to wash and maintain. Shop this from www.giri.in for Rs. 230 only.
If you want to gift Thamboolam items as a return gift to your loved ones, then do buy this pretty thamboolam bag in bulk from www.giri.in. Thamboolam items essentially include a betel leaf, slaked lime and areca nut. These items hold religious significance in Hindu cultures. Grab this polka-dotted Thamboolam bag for Rs. 50 each. It comes with a handle for easy carrying. You can tighten its grasp at the neck with the string provided.
Dandiya Navrathri Combo
www.archiesonline.com has the perfect Navrathri return gift hamper. Shop this lovely dandiya Navratri combo consisting of a potli, cashews and a pair of dandiya sticks. One combo is priced at Rs. 499. This vibrant combo includes all the items which symbolize the spirit of the festival. The dandiya sticks are beautifully decorated and the attractive potli can be used as a thamboolam bag or a bag to carry your essentials. The cashews are crunchy and delicious.
For all your beloved sisters, daughters, mother and aunts, these designer bangles will be a super hit. Gift these as navrathri return gift to share the festive spirit. The silk thread bangles in royal blue feature two lines of stone embellishments. The minimum order quantity is 20 pieces and each pair is available for Rs. 90 from www.theoneshop.in.
Lakshmi Ganesh Shadow Candle Light
This Lakshmi Shadow Candlelight makes the perfect gift for Navrathri. The stunning candlelight has two images of Ganesh and Lakshmi carved beautifully and in such a way that when the candles will be lit, you can see shadows of these Gods. The product is made from tin material and weighs 70 gm. Each piece is available for Rs. 119 from www.theoneshop.in.
5 Layer New Electric Gold LED Bulb Lights Diya
This 5-layered electric gold LED bulb lights diya is apt for Pooja rooms and house entrances when you want to decorate your homes for Navrathri. As a return gift, these make an excellent choice. Grab this pair for Rs. 699 from www.amazon.in.
The 5-tier diya lamp is well connected with LED bulbs in each tier and once you switch it on, you will not have to worry about the diyas being extinguished. Moreover, there is no fear of catching fire when you use LED lamp diyas, while creating the same illuminating effect.
Navrathri Celebration in Different States of India
This festival is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in three main states of India – Jammu, Gujarat and West Bengal
The famous Vaishno Devi Temple in Jammu is a temple devoted to one of the forms of Goddess Durga. Devotees throng the temple in huge numbers during Navrathri. They believe, worshiping the Goddess during this festival is auspicious. The 13 km long trek to the Shrine is quite tough and there are helicopter facilities, horse rides and palanquins for the travelers.
This festival is celebrated in the most joyful manner in Gujarat. Men and women dress up in traditional Gujarati clothes such as chaniya cholis and kurta pajamas. People of all ages gather together and perform Garba or Dandiya – Gujarati folk dance, to the tunes of Gujarati songs. Large grounds are decorated for Dandiya and Garba dances and people in large numbers throng the grounds during night time, dancing to the tunes of foot-tapping live bands. Competitions are held for best-dressed couples and best dancers, which encourage people to try their best.
This is also one of the biggest festivals in West Bengal. Devotees create huge Pandals where the Goddess Durga is worshiped. Her idol is decorated in different themes. Worshipers indulge in extensive planning and there are various competitions held for best decoration. Devotees go temple-hopping to view the lovely decorations. During the last day, the pandals are taken for a procession and people play with colours and dance along the side. The idols are then immersed in water.
Bonus Tip: Don't Forget to Visit Durga Pandals This Navrathri
Send the Blessings of Goddess Durga to Your Guests in 2019 Through these Thoughtful Return Gifts
Durga Maa is the protector of the good, and destroyer of the evil. This Navrathri, when you hold celebrations at your home, give your guests these thoughtful return gifts, making them remember this Navrathri forever.