Navratri Celebration in Punjab
In Punjab, Navratri is known as Navratras or navratey. The first seven days are meant to go on a fast. Fasting is both partially and completely where devotees are only allowed to eat fruits and other allowed food. Complete fast is tough and only some people fast completely. They only drink milk for the seven days. Alcohol, meat and other forms of entertainment are completely and strictly avoided on these days.
People in Punjab also organize jagrata where people do not sleep for the whole night and spend their night by singing devotional songs and by dancing. The jagrata is one of the biggest attraction in Punjab. You can even smell the spiritual energy in the pandals. They perform aartis at their home.
On the eighth day, devotees break their fast by calling nine girls and feed them. These girls are treated as goddess and are worshiped just like they worship the goddess. Devotees wash their feet, worship them and offer food. They are given traditional puris, halwa and chana. This is called ‘kanjak devis’ or ‘kanjika’ in Punjab. The girls are gifted lal chunri and bangles. The ninth day is called navami which is the last day of navratri.
In punjab, devotees organize bhandara where poor people are feed and are served properly. This is the best thing in Punjab as they treat people equally whether he is rich or poor. Their faith is pure and their dedication is strong. They worship goddess with full heartedly.
Another practice is sowing pulses, cereals and other seeds on the very first day of navratri in a pot which is watered and cared for nine days. The pot is also worshipped. This custom is followed for and is known as ‘khetri’. The pots with seeds are allowed to grow and is prayed till the last day. It is symbolic to first fruit.
People in Punjab follow a very strict rule as they are very spiritual and believe in god with their full. They follow all their rituals properly and strictly. India is a home with full of diversities but the great thing about the country is unity. Procedures and rituals may vary but their ultimate goal is to serve the almighty properly. Navratrey is celebrated to seek the blessings of the goddess for the wellness of them and their family.