New Delhi: Navratri, the festival of Goddess Durga began on Thursday with pomp and gaiety across the country. This year the Shardiya Navratri has special significance as it starts on a Tuesday (October 16) and will also end on a Tuesday (October 23).
The unique planetary alignment last occurred 34 years back in 1978 when the Navratri began on October 3 and ended on October 10. The next time it will happen is after 27 years in the year 2039.
Praying to Lord Hanuman alongwith the Goddess is said to be important owing to the rare event.
Like last year, this year too, Navratri would a eight-day festival as against the usual nine days as the third and the fourth days are falling on the same date.
People across the country are taking part in the celebrations which began today. While in North India it began after Kalash was placed by devotees in their homes, in the west, especially Gujarat is all set to usher in the season of festivities with Dandiya.
Bengal is also ready for Durga Pujo as usual in its full-fledged avatar that is so quintessential of the state. The entire state of West Bengal looks adorned as a new bride with communities dotted with magnificient mandaps. Mandaps or Pandals as they are called are adorned with beautiful idols of Goddess Durga.
South India too welcomed Goddess Durga on the first day of Navratra amidst much splendour and gaiety. South Indians also display pictures of Goddess and toys at their homes during the celebration.