In her message, President Patil said, "On the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja, I send my warm greetings to all my fellow citizens and wish them happiness and prosperit". "Durga Puja symbolizes the triumph of truth, righteousness and virtue over evil. May this great festival inspire us to walk on the path of rectitude and tolerance and build a society in which peace and harmony always prevail," she added. In his separate message, Dr Singh said that India has an age-old tradition of celebrating Durga Puja. It symbolise the triumph of good over evil. He said the activities centering around these festivals symbolise our rich cultural heritage and are an inspiration for a life of righteous action.
The Navratri festival, celebrated at the onset of spring and autumn, marks the period of special obeisance to the power of Goddess Durga, a manifestation of the Mother Goddess in Hindu mythology.
Hindus believe Goddess Durga descends on earth during Navratri to rid it of the demons from the netherworld and to bless her devotees with happiness and prosperity.
The nine days of Navratri stand for the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga.