The festival of nine nights, or nav–ratri, is a beautiful celebration of female divinity, embodied by the fierce and protective goddess Durga. Each night of the festival worships the nine avatars (or incarnations) of Durga, with special offerings, prayers and rituals. Navratri evenings are a great time to witness the colourful traditions and culture of India as people come together to celebrate through the night with special feasts, folk songs and dances like garba and dandiya. It’s also a great time to shop for new clothes, jewellery and homeware as markets are decked up for the festivities and often open till late. While some communities choose to fast through the nine days, others come out to celebrate in more decadent ways. Almost every region has its own unique way of celebrating and marking these nine days, making it a truly special time to visit India.