What is Sharad Navratri?

"Sharad Navratri | September 26-October 4" On a green background with two dancers in foreground.

Navratri, meaning nine nights”, refers to the two Hindu festivals that occur in the Spring and Autumn. The Autumn celebration known as Sharad Navratri begins every year on the night of the first new moon in the Autumn season as a way to commemorate the change of the season. However, the celebration of the festival isn’t just about the change of the season rather it is the celebration of the Divine Feminine. The Divine Feminine, also known as Shakti, in Hinduism is the dynamic energy that is responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe which is manifested in Goddesses, meaning that a variety of female manifestations in Hinduism are celebrated during Navratri. The most prominent Goddess of Navratri festivals is Durga, the Mother Goddess, who is often celebrated in her different forms for each of the nine nights of Navratri.

Throughout the nine nights, many Hindus celebrate Navratri in a variety of ways as there here are homas (ritual fires), pujas (worship with prayers and flower offerings to deities), and  abhisheka (bathing of the deity being worshipped). Yet, there some people celebrate the festivals through fasting and meditation while others, like the Gujarat people in western India, perform a unique dance called Garba.

Throughout the world, there are many ways that Navratri is celebrated by a variety of people. Below are a few of the Navratri celebrations that will be taking place in Florida that you can attend if you’re interested in learning more and experiencing the festival firsthand:    

Hindu Society of North East Florida Navratri Celebrations

  • Garba, Aarti, Dandiya

  • Dussehra Mela

  • Ravan Dahan

Gujarati Society of Central Florida

Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida Navratri Celebrations

Indian Regional & Cultural Center