Navratri (Sanskrit:नवरात्रि) is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava – Nine and Ratri – nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti (metaphor for goddess Durga ) i.e. female divinity are worshipped.
The beginning of summer and the beginning of winter are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.
Dasaharara, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dasara in popular parlance. The Navaratri festival or ‘nine day festival’ becomes ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijaya-dasami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) is worshipped with fervor and devotion.