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Updated October 2005
Navratri - The Hindu Festival
by Manish Gajjar
The Danya Ras Dance
The Dandya Ras during the Navratri Festival

Tuesday 4th October 2005 marks the beginning of the Hindu festival Navratri which lasts for nine consecutive nights. It's an occasion of great religious significance for Hindus everywhere.

SEE ALSO
BBC Religion & Ethics

Faith index
BOLLYWOOD

Our Bollywood film section has all the information you need. A guide to local cinema, previews and reviews on the latest releases.

At BBC Shropshire, we have chosen the Top Ten Bollywood movies for the month. These films are well worth a "dekho" at a cinema near you.

Why not take a look at the breathtaking pictures of the latest Bollywood films in our Bollywood Gallery section. There is always something new to take a look at!

Tell us what you think of this special report and our Bollywood section by visiting our Message Board.

You can contact our Bollywood expert
Manish Gajjar at
manish.gajjar@bbc.co.uk

Links to other pages for this festival
Navratri - The Hindu Festival
     
Shri Durga Maa
Shri Durga Maa: The Hindu Goddess of Power and Energy.

The festival of Navratri (nav = nine and ratri = nights) or Nine Nights is one of the greatest ceremonies in the lives of Hindus.

This celebration comes in the Indian month of Aashwin, but according to the western calendar this will take place between the 4th and 12th October.

It's an auspicious occasion full of vibrant festivities and cultural extravaganzas within the Hindu communities right across the UK.

These nine nights are devoted to the worship of Shakti or The Divine Force, the supporter of the universe.

Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva: Representing the neverending process of creation, destruction and preservation.

This is represented through a female form with three manifestations. These are Durga Maa (Goddess of power), Lakshmi Maa (Goddess of wealth), and Saraswati Maa (Goddess of knowledge).

The whole essence behind the Navratri festival is that it commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over a demon called Mahishasur.

According to the Hindu scriptures, the demon Mahishasur begun to destroy innocent lives on the earth after he was endowed with power by the blessing of Lord Shiva.

Troubled by such an outcome, the Gods invoked Goddess Durga Maa and asked for her help to put a stop to this barbarism.

Hence the Goddess, astride a lion, and armed with Her weapons, the "shul" (pike), "chakra" (wheel), "parshu" (axe) and "talvar" (sword), she started Her fight against this demon on the first day of Navratri until he was defeated on the 9th day.

 
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