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Indian Festivals> Navaratri
Nine holy days in the month of Asbmn are celebrated as Navaratri. This festival period is dedicated to the Goddess Durga and observed all over India. It is celebrated as Durga Puja in West Bengal.
Either on the eighth or the ninth day, the ladies of the house prepare delicious food for offering asprasad. For nine consecutive days, the ladies keep fast. On the festival day, they give food to seven or nine young girls. It is a symbolic act of worshipping the goddess in the form of a virgin girl. This festivity is observed generally in Northern India. In South India, a specially decorated deck is constructed in homes, on which idols, toys and other useful things are arranged. This edifice is known as ‘Bomma Kolu’.
During this time, womenfolk pay a visit to each other’s houses. Little gifts like betel leaves, coconut, kumkum and turmeric are offered to the goddess. The ninth day is celebrated as Saraswati Puja. Then all the objects of learning and knowledge are worshipped.