Cultural Considerations: Hindu Holiday Navratri

As a translation services provider who connects businesses with other cultures, we like to take time to showcase different traditions around the world on our blog. Understanding other cultures or working with a company that understands those cultures is key to both marketing effectively as well as forming a long lasting business relationship.

Navratri decorations

Navratri Background

Navratri is a Hindu holiday celebrated at the beginning of autumn, this year falling between October 1-10. The holiday celebrates the Hindu goddess Durga, the female embodiment of the divine according to the beliefs of the Shakti sect of Hinduism. Navratri directly translates to ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit with nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, a different manifestation of Durga is celebrated. This holiday is a celebration of goddesses who are “all-powerful, beautiful and fierce” and at the core, celebrates the divine within each of us and achieving greater happiness in life by following the cycle of change Durga endures. “Durga” translates to “the remover of life’s miseries” in Sanskrit. As the autumn season is one of transformation in nature, the culture takes time to celebrate a transformation within each person and glorify the spirit inside ourselves.

Celebrations are held across India and are especially large in the state of Gujarat, and in Mumbai. While celebrations vary depending on the region, they mostly include processions, dancing, and temple offerings. In places such as Punjab, the period is more serious and solemn where seven days of fasting is required ending with a huge feast honoring local girls.

Business Etiquette

CNN Money reports that India is the “fastest growing major economy in world” with explosive and continuous GDP growth. With a growing and stable economy, there are many opportunities for businesses in India. Before entering the market, it’s important to understand the business etiquette of the country you plan on exploring. Furthermore, in a religious country such as India, awareness of holiday’s such as Navratri are crucial. Entering a new market can be tricky and with 75% of consumers preferring to do business with a company that offers information in their language (8 Language Stats to Supercharge Global Market Impact), translation services are a strategic and logical first step. A reputable translation services provider will consult with you on best practices in your target country of choice. For more information on expanding into global markets, check out our post on “Taking Your Website Global Through Localization”.


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