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Festival of the Month: Navratri

Today marks the start of the Hindu festival of ‘Navratri’, which translates as ‘The Festival of Nine Nights’. Throughout this period, Hindus all around the world will be celebrating and worshipping the Goddess Durga in all her nine forms, as well as her triumph of good over evil, over nine consecutive nights. During this time, devotees will fast, perform a worship called ‘puja’ (which includes prayers and hymns) and sing and dance every night by performing a special dance called ‘garba’ using colourful sticks called the ‘dandiya’. Each day is marked with a different colour and worshipers will dress in their best attire corresponding to those colours each day. Navratri is usually celebrated by Hindus in October each year and signals the approach of Diwali, ‘The Festival of Lights’, every November. The children at Whitehall Junior School have been learning all about why this festival is important to Hindus in their RE lessons and some have even been learning how to create dandiya sticks and how to dance with them! We would like to wish all those celebrating a very happy Navratri and invite you to share your experiences of the festival with us, if you would like.