Navratri is the nine day festival where the goddess in worshiped in different forms. In different states of India the rituals and customs and traditions are different. In Maharashtra the rituals involve placing some soil as thick as two phalanges in a plate and placing a pot filled with water in the center of it with some rice grains on top then placing five leaves of mango and a coconut on the pot. Nine food grains viz: Wheat, Bajra, Jowar, Rice, Bengal Gram, Green Gram, Matki, Black Sesame seeds, Black Gram each for the nine navgrahas are then sowed in the mud and it is kept moist for the nine days so that it germinates and grows a little. A lamp is lit continuously for nine days such that it does not extinguish. It is a depiction of life: The soil : Mother earth, The pot : womb, The grains/seeds - The unborn baby and fertility, The never extinguishing lamp: life etc....... This is worshiped for the next nine days: depicting the nine months of pregnancy. During this time in the state of Gujarat, men and women dance the Garba around this. Children especially little girls are fed with delicacies. After nine days these germinated seeds and coconut is then immersed in water: depicting every thing that comes goes away.
|The Ghat in the centre with the coconut on top and germinating seeds around it.|
|Ladies going together for the immersion of the ghat.|