The nine day period of Navratri celebrates the feminine power or ‘Shakti’ of the universe. This highly auspicious period falls in the Hindu month of ‘Ashvin’ which corresponds to the months of September-October. The festival pays tribute to the mighty ‘Goddess Durga’ who prevailed over the dark forces of evil and ultimately rescued the world from succumbing to anarchy and tyranny. It is celebrated in a grand manner across the length and breadth of the country, albeit in different ways and styles. This is a period to welcome the Goddess into our lives and one should be well prepared to accord her a worthy reception, so that she graces our homes with her divine presence. Some of the practices to be observed during this auspicious period are listed below: Keeping the home clean and tidy Goddess Durga is the epitome of power and she visits the homes of those who keep their surroundings neat and free of clutter. A tidy home exudes positive energy and is sure to compel the Goddess to enter the premises. One should mop the floors, vacuum the upholstery and clean the entire house, making it spic and span. This will not only create a general environment of cleanliness, but also make it more inviting for visitors.
Cleaning the Puja Room The Puja room is a hallowed and sacrosanct part of our home and one should accord full priority toward keeping it clean. The idols and other relevant items should also be thoroughly washed and cleaned to maintain the sanctity of the Puja altar. Navratri is celebrated to honor Goddess Durga and she should be worshiped with due respect in a clean environment so that her divine presence lingers on in our homes. Washing Dishes Navratri is a festival when several special dishes are prepared and consumed, some as ‘Prasadam’ and some which are traditionally a part of the offerings. However, one should take utmost care to prepare and serve these dishes in clean and hygienic vessels. One should also ensure these vessels are thoroughly cleaned with warm water and a good dishwashing liquid after mealtimes. Having clean and hygienic vessels is not only essential from a religious perspective, but also serves to keep us healthy and active. Washing clothes It is essential to keep stain removal powder and detergents always in stock in our homes. This can come in handy anytime, especially during festivals, as the chances of soiling our clothes after a good meal is more likely to occur. One should also make it a point to keep their clothes free from dirt and grime and wear only cleanly washed and hygienic clothes. This will serve not only to keep us healthy and smart, but also create a favorable impression to the onlooker. Post Navratri Celebrations The festival of ‘Navratri’ is celebrated for nine nights and is concluded in a grand manner on the tenth day, which also coincides with the festival of ‘Dussehra’. This is again a time for festivities and it is good to keep our homes and surroundings clean and tidy. Though the task of constantly cleaning and tidying our homes may at first seem a little daunting, it is however not so strenuous practically, as one just needs to clear out excess dust and grime at periodic intervals. By observing this practice on a regular and organized basis, one can create a healthy environment for a long and disease free life.