Navrati festival now and Diwali to follow – “don’t be scared, be blessed”

On my second visit to India, staying in a hotel in New Delhi, I was alarmed at two or three in the morning by a series of explosions – in this post 9/11 era we are all a little on edge. I spent a nervous night and next morning anxiously asked the concierge had he heard the massive explosions?

With a beaming smile on his face, he said “This is Diwali and people always fire off crackers – don’t be scared, be blessed”.


Pictured are dancers during Navrati Festival

This year, Navratri (Durga Puja) is being observed from September 29 to October 7 and Diwali on 27 October – which is my birthday, so it will be very special for me this year.

Navratri in Sanskrit means nine nights in which nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped in a particular order. Alongside observing fast and performing various rituals, preparing a special offering for each day holds symbolic significance.


Aarti was also performed and people were seen offering prayers at Mumba Devi temple in Mumbai (pictured above) on the first day of Navratri. Mumba Devi is an amazing temple and I recommend it be on your “must visit” list if in Mumbai.

Kalkaji temple and Jhandewalan temple in New Delhi were all decked up with flowers as people stood in long queues to attend the first aarti of the nine-day-long festival.

In India festivals are generally about great optimism – in one way or another, about the triumph of good over evil.

So, from me – “all best wishes of Navrati to you!”



Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

One thought on “Navrati festival now and Diwali to follow – “don’t be scared, be blessed””

  1. I recently came across your blog and love it… simple yet informative about India. Good blog to follow for international travellers and for Indians too. Even we find things that we didnt know earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

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