Nine-day ‘Navratri’ festival begins

March 27th, 2009 - 5:10 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi/Mumbai, Mar 27 (ANI): The nine-day ‘Navratri’ festival began across India with religious fervour on Friday.

In New Delhi, devotees queued up outside the temples early in the morning to pay their obeisance to Goddess Durga.

“Today is the first Navratri so we have come here to pay obeisance. We have firm faith in goddess. She has always listened to our prayers and fulfilled them,” said Vijay Singh, Bhandari, a devotee.

“Navratri”, dedicated to Goddess Durga is celebrated twice in a year, during the spring and the autumn season.

In Maharashtra, people celebrated the festival of ‘Gudi Padwa’, the Hindu New Year, with traditional fervour.

An essential part of ‘Gudi Padwa’ is the specially decorated sticks, called “gudis”, which symbolise the nature’s bounty.

A huge procession was taken out in Mumbai men, women and children wearing traditional dresses and participating in tableaus. It was organised in a bid to revive the festival, which has been losing some of its charm, owing to the increasing popularity of the Western New Year.

“We are welcoming the Hindu New Year on Gudi Parva with much fanfare and gaiety,” said Ajith Bedekar, a resident.

‘Gudi Padwa’ is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month, and is celebrated as New Year’s Day by Maharashtrians.

It is the same day on which great king Shalivahana defeated Sakas in battle.

This is also first day of Marathi Calendar. This festival is supposed to mark the beginning of spring.

According to the Gregorian calendar this would fall sometime at the end of March and the beginning of April. (ANI)

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