Indo-Caribbean Hindus in New York have been observed the auspicious festival of Navratri, the annual festival that pays obeisance to the universal mother (Durga and her feminine sisters Lakshmi and Saraswati), since last Tuesday October 8. It will conclude on Oct 17. Every one of the sixty five mandirs in New York has been hosting Navratir pooja. Dayaram Mandir and a special service being conducted in a tent at the Arya Samaj ground by Rajin Balgobin has attracted large gatherings.
Navratri (meaning nine nights of puja) is one of the holiest periods in the Hindu calendar. It involves fasting and intense devotional prayers during the entire period. People focus on purification of the minds and bodies. It is a time when Hindus performed special poojas at home and or visit the mandirs for nightly worshipping. People tend to pray during this period with great fervor and devotion. In fact, temples were packed with worshippers during since the festival began. The final evening will see little girls (kumaris) representing the Devis in Hindu worship in what is known as in Kumari pooja. The children will be showered with gifts.
Every evening, there is chanting from the scriptures, Ramayana discourse, devotional singing, aarti, and bhojan.