How is Navratri Celebrated Across India?

What is Navratri?

(Sharad) Navratri is a 9 day festival held across Hindu spheres to celebrate Durga's victory against her 9 day long battle with a demon named Mahishasur. It's usually celebrated in October in a variety of ways based on ethnic backgrounds. Let's take a quick trip around India to discover...


  • Celebrated over the course of 9 nights
  • It includes fasting on either the first day, or partially fasting all 9 days
  • Prayers are dedicated to a clay pot called "garbo," that holds diyas inside
  • Traditional dances called "raas & garba" are also performed


  • Celebrated with devotees fasting for the first 7 days of the festival
  • Near the end of the festival, 9 young girls are honored with gifts

West Bengal, Odisha, Assam & Bihar

  • Celebrated as "Durga Puja" and is a huge celebration
  • Takes places during the last 4 days of the festival
  • People dress in new clothes and Bengali women wear traditional white saris with red borders


  • The festival is called "Dasara" (also known as Vijayadasami, Dussehra, Navratri or Durgotsav)
  • It celebrates Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed asura king Ravana, as described in the Ramayan

Tamil Nadu

  • Celebrated in honor of the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati
  • One especially unique aspect of the celebrations here is the decoration of a 9-step staircase called the "Kolu / Golu"
  • Each step is adorned with dolls which are passed down generations.


  • Celebrated during the last 3 days
  • A very important significance is placed on knowledge and learning
  • For this reason, many books and musical instruments are placed around idols the Goddess Saraswati. At the end, the books are taken down for reading


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Modi Toys is a children's brand of toys and books inspired by ancient Hindu culture. We exist to spread joy and to spark curiosity in the next generation through our innovative soft plush toys, illustrated children's books and free learning resources. Our weekly Theology Thursday series covers a wide range of topics rooted in Hinduism to help us better understand the origins of traditions, the symbolic meaning of rituals, and the stories behind Hindu holidays and festivals. The more we can understand "the why" behind this 4,000 year ancient religion, and make sense of it in this modern age, the greater we can appreciate and preserve our rich Hindu culture. While we take great care in thoroughly researching the information presented, we may occasionally get some things wrong. We encourage a healthy and open dialogue so we can learn together. Please leave a comment below or email us directly at to address any concerns. 


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