Navarātri (which literally means “9 nights”) is a period of 9 consecutive days in September or October according to the year, dedicated to the veneration of the Divine Mother. This ancestral celebration is a very alive tradition in the whole of India, where it is one of the most spiritual periods of the year.
The Divine Mother is also called by many other names: Śakti, Mother-Energy etc. In the Indian tradition, it is about the energy of manifestation, in the other words the aspect of action of the Divine Consciousness. This Force feeds and supports all the creatures living on the Earth as a mother takes care of her children: so naturally she is bearing the name of Mother-Energy or Divine Mother.
The forms of the veneration taking place during Navarātri are manifold: continuous memory of the Divinity, breathing exercices, meditation, practice of external veneration (Pūja), recitation of mantras, circum-ambulation, etc. In addition to spiritual practices, doing charity to economically challenged persons is part of what should be done during Navarātri.
It is about asking the Divine Mother for Her full blessing for our spiritual journey and to give up her all our inner obstacles.
in the Indian tradition, te last and 10th day is the day of the knowledge and inner revival after the whole cycle of practice has been completed.
In this year 2011, an astrological characteristic makes Navarātri shortened by one day: the veneration takes place during 8 days instead of 9 (starting on September 28th, 2011). The day of the revival (this year the 9th day) is on October 6th, 2011.