‘Navratri’ meaning ‘nine nights’ marks the battle that took place between Durga and demon Mahishasura and celebrates the victory of Good over Evil. Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars is worshipped in these nine days.
Each day is associated with an incarnation of the Goddess. The nine forms of Goddess Durga are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.
Navratri also symbolises the removal of darkness from our lives by establishing victory over evil.
The devotees, who perform Navdurga worship keep vow for nine days according to their resolutions. Some people do the foodless fasting while some take food after breaking the fast in the evening. Also, some people only take a fruit diet or milk in fasting during Navratri.
Among some followers of the goddess Durga, who are particularly predominant in Bengal and Assam, the festival is known as or coincides with the Durga Puja (“Rite of Durga”). Special images of Durga commemorating her victory over the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura are worshipped daily, and on the 10th day (Dussehra) they are taken in jubilant processions to nearby rivers or reservoirs for immersion in water. In addition to family observances, the puja, or ritual, days are also celebrated with public concerts, recitations, plays, and fairs.
The 10th day is celebrated as Dussehra to celebrate the victory of Lord Ram over the demon-king Ravana. In many regions, Dussehra is considered an auspicious time to begin educational or artistic pursuits, especially for children.
In Kerala, the books are placed for Puja on the Ashtami day in own houses, traditional nursery schools, or in temples. On Vijaya Dashami day, the books are ceremoniously taken out for reading and writing after worshiping Sarasvati. Vijaya Dashami day is considered auspicious for initiating the children into writing and reading, which is called Vidyarambham.