Today (16 October 2012) sees Hindus all over the world, commencing the celebration of Navratri/Naurtha.
The festival of Navratri or Naurtha (which literally means 9 nights) is celebrated throughout India, however nowhere is it celebrated with more panache and glamour than in the state of Gujarat. Gujarat’s Navratri Festival, is a festival that throbs non-stop for nine nights with millions of fantastically costumed devotees swaying to the traditional music of Raas Garba (Gujarati Dance) and devotion to the different aspects of the supreme goddess, and each year the festival brings in new innovations in music, choreography and costumes that have enthralled audiences with its beauty and cultural tradition.
The 9days of Navratri, are divided into 3 sets of 3days, and each set is devoted to the various forms of the Devine mother. Hinduism is the only religion in the world that gives so much importance to the mother aspect of God, because we believe that a mother is the creative aspect of the absolute. Many devotees fast during this period of 9days, eating only fruit, nuts and dairy products, this diet helps one to purify ones body, while the prayer and worship help with purifying the mind and soul.
During the first 3days, the mother is worshipped as the powerful force called Durga, in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. Mother Luxmi is worshipped as the giver of spiritual wealth over the next 3days, and the final 3 days are devoted to the worshipping of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom. We all need well rounded success in our lives and hence the blessings of all 3 aspects of the divine mother are required.
Pictures sourced from the website State of Gujarat
Almond Milk (Serves 8)
2l fat free milk
1 tin of low fat Ideal Milk
125ml powdered almonds
50ml powdered pistachios
4 pieces cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods (slightly bruised)
5ml cinnamon powder
5ml nutmeg powder
2.5ml cardamom powder
Few strands of saffron
Honey (to taste)