‘Navratri’ meaning ‘nine nights’ is a significant Hindu festival, which is celebrated twice a year - ‘Chaitra’ or ‘Vasant Navratri’ (March-April), and ‘Sharad Navratri’ (October-November). Both the celebrations center on the worship of Goddess Shakti. These nine days have great religious significance as Goddess Durga, which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (energy or power). Maa Durga the divine mother had destroyed the evil force (in the form of the demon Mahishasura) during this period.
This festival is a symbol of women's power to destroy the evil and safe the society and religion from these evil forces. This festival is celebrated with true devotion and purity all over the country. People from various sections of the society irrespective of caste and creed celebrate this festival by visiting temples and offering pujas at the Mother’s feet.
According to a very popular legend, Mahishasura, the mighty demon worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained invincible power. Soon, he started killing the innocent lives on earth and set out to win the seven lokas. He acquired the swarglok. Nobody could save the living creatures from his tyranny. Even the three mighty gods of the Hindu Trinity - Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva - were unable to defeat him. Therefore, all the gods, including the Hindu Trinity, united their supreme powers and created a divine being called Ma Shakti or Durga, the Warrior Goddess. Equipped with lethal weapons and riding a ferocious lion, the Goddess in all her awesome majesty, destroyed the evil one without much ado. The 10th day, on which the goddess killed Mahishasura, is celebrated as Dussheraor Vijayadashami as the victory of good over evil. Navratri is celebrated to commemorate her victory over the demon, which symbolizes the victory of the good over the evil. The nine nights of Navratri symbolize the nine nights of the war between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura.