In India, the celebrations of Navratri spanning over nine days just concluded on the 19th of October, 2018. Each day is dedicated to a different goddess which are avatars of goddess Durga. It is celebrated in the various parts of the Indian subcontinent differently.

Ramleela

In the northern part of India, people fast throughout the festival. An enactment of the Ramleela is organized. Lord Ram brought back his wife Sita, who was held hostage by Ravan. He gets killed on the last day by Lord Ram. The day is celebrated as Dusshera. To replicate this, an effigy of Ravan along with his two brothers is brunt in the evening. They even add a bit of color with fire crackers planted within the effigy all catching flames.

Ravana is associated with several Indian rituals including the Tholpaavakuthu.
Image: tommivananthapuram on Flickr

Durga Puja

In the Eastern part of India, people feast and they celebrated it in the form of Durga Puja. It is celebrated over the last four days. In Delhi, it can be experienced in Chittaranjan Park(C.R Park). Located in South Delhi ,where the celebrations start of as early as a month. Multiple Durga Puja pandals all over this area. Each pandal having a different theme or idea to depict.

A typical Navratri pandal has five gods each seated on their dedicated vehicle called “vahan”. In the centre is goddess Durga siting on the lion. On one side there is Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge) mounted on swans and on the other Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity) who flies atop a white owl. On either corners the children of goddess Parvati are seated. Lord Ganesh who sits on mouse is worshipped to commemorate a new beginning. Lord Kartikeya (god of war) who mounts on a peacocks.

The iconography depicted in different parts of India for these Gods is quite fascinating to look at. In South India, forms such as a Kolam or puppet like depictions of Gods in dynamic rituals are a common motif.

 

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