The word Navratra literally means nine nights. For Hindus the bi-annual nine days of Navratras are amongst the holiest and most auspicious of days. While both sets are primarily associated with the Goddess, the second Navratras of the year have no association other than the Devi Durga. The first nine days falling in the Hindu month of Ashwin are dedicated to the Devi, presaging as they do the birth of the great protective Goddess whose arrival represents the triumph of good over evil.
The celebrations and joyous rituals that accompany the celebration of these nine days culminate in the birth of the Goddess. Each of the nine days represents one particular facet of the many splendoured Durga. Each of the nine Goddess or nine aspects of the Devi are represented by a form of the Goddess, each with her own mythology, iconography, lore and, most important of all, her own set of the blessings, boons and aspect.
From the young virgin to the nurturing mother; from the angry destroyer to the protective deity; from the ascetic to the bestower of all material prosperity; the Devi is all of them and yet greater than the sum of her parts. Each day of the nine holy days presents the worshipper with a particular aspect that ought to be meditated upon, worshipped and in turn the Goddess bestows upon the true devotee the special munificence associated with that aspect of her self. And on the ninth day, all pf her aspects combine to give birth to the Great Goddess, Durga.