Indian folk dancingAn Indian folk dancer poses with her troupe. (photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

Hindus in India and around the world are in the midst of celebrating Navratri, the colorful and light-laden, nine-day festival also known as Durga Puja. Dedicated to Durga, Hindus celebrate the mother goddess’ defeat of the demon Mahishasura — the triumph of good over evil.

Shiva, the Hindu deity of destruction and transformation, then permitted Durga to see her own mother for nine days in the year. The tenth day is known as Dussehra or Vijayadashami, an auspicious time in which Hindus launch new activities or the beginning of learning.

Rehearsing for festivitiesIndian folk dancers participate in a full dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Navratri festivities that will last until October 6, 2011. (photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

Reading the Durga StuatiAn Indian Hindu devotee reads a copy of the “Durga Stuati” in the 700-year-old Sheetla Mata Temple of the Durgiana Temple Complex in Amritsar on September 28, 2011 during the Navratri festival. (photo Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

Ganesh, Laxman, and RamaIndian Hindus dressed as the deities Lord Ganesh (left), Laxman (center), and Rama (right) for Dussehra held at the end of the Navratri. (photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)

Hindu goddess Durga in clay formAn Indian idol maker works on a miniature clay statue of Hindu goddess Durga.  (photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)

After Durga’s visit to her mother, her image is cast into water to represent her departure on the tenth day after Navratri.

Navratri's endA young boy wades through the river carrying pieces of an idol of the Hindu goddess Durga after its immersion ceremony for the Hindu festival Durga Puja in Bhubaneswar. (photo: Strdel/AFP/Getty Images)


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1Reflection

Reflections

How colourful and full of richness this and so many Hindu celebrations seem to be!