The festival is dedicated to Durga, the mother goddess who also represents power. According to the legend, it is said that Shiva gave permission to Maa Durga to see her mother for nine days in the year. During this period, Durga annihilated the demon Mahishasura after a relentless battle lasting nine days and nights. During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as "Maa Durga," which literally means the remover of miseries of life. Goddess Durga is also referred to as "Shakti" (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction.
Navaratri (nine nights) is one of the greatest Hindu festivals. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Navratri takes place at the month of September - October around harvest time and, as the name implies, this festival is celebrated for nine days. During this period, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped as three different manifestations of Shakti, or cosmic energy.
This is chiefly a woman's festival. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati.