The season of festivals has arrived, People across the country and abroad are celebrating Navratri which has begun from today.
Navratri also spelt as Navaratri or Navarathri is the celebration of ‘nava ratris’ (nine nights) symbolizes the devotion and love which people have for Goddess Shakti, the supreme cosmic power.
It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various states. All the nine days of the festival are dedicated to the nine manifestations of Goddess Shakti. The festivity culminates on the tenth day with Vijay Dashami or Dussehra.
Though Navratri is celebrated all over the country, the celebration of this festival varies from one region to the other. Like in North India, the festival continues for nine long days, and people do fasting and worshiping. Stage shows and plays are organized to depict the story of Lord Rama. “Kanya Pujan” is also observed, in which the little girls are worshipped and are offered food and sweets.
However, in West Bengal, only the last four days are celebrated as Durga Puja, and on a ninth day, the worshipers bid farewell to the goddess Durga.
In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with much fun and frolic.
Here’s all you need to know about the festival.
Navratri Date and Time
Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin lunar month with Ghatasthapana. Kalash, which is installed during Ghatasthapana, is immersed in the water body on the tenth day.
Navratri begins – Pratipada (1st day) of Ashwin (seventh lunar month) Shukla Paksha
Navratri ends – Navami (9th day) of Ashwin Shukla Paksha
This year, Navratri will start on October 10 and end on October 18. The last five days are celebrated as Durga Puja in Bengal. While the last day (10th day) is called Dussehra.
Day 1: October 10, 2018 – Pratipada
Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on this day
Day 2: October 11, 2018 – Dwitiya
Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on this day
Day 3: October 12, 2018 – Tritiya
Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on this day
Day 4: October 13, 2018 – Chaturthi
Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on this day
Day 5: October 14, 2018 – Panchami
Goddess Skandamta is worshipped on this day
Day 6: October 15, 2018 – Shasthi
Goddess Katyayani is worshipped on this day
Day 7: October 16, 2018 – Saptami
Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped on this day
Day 8: October 17, 2018 – Ashtami
Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on this day
Day 9: October 18, 2018 – Navami
Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on this day
Dashami: October 10, 2018
The Nine days of Navratri – Colors to wear
The goddesses worshipped during Navratri are all forms of Maa Durga. Each of the nine days also has a designated colour which the devotees prefer to wear on the day. These colours are green, blue, red, orange, yellow, indigo, violet, pink and tints and hues of golden.
The main Goddess of Navratri is Goddess Durga who is also known as Goddess Bhavani and Goddess Amba. All these forms of Durga are attributed to Goddess Parvati. Besides, Goddess Durga, nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during Navratri.
According to Drig Panchang, the list of Navratri Goddesses which is mostly followed in North India, presiding deity of each Tithi from Pratipada to Navami during Navratri are as following –
Navratri Puja Vidhi
After taking bath on the day when Navratri begins, place the Kalash in front of the statue or picture of Goddess Durga. Also, place an earthen pot with mud to grow Khetri. Add barley to it and pour some water, then tie a red string around the Khetri pot. It is believed that the more the barley grows in a 9-day period, the more fortune it brings to the house. Recite Durga Chalisa during the puja. It is also considered auspicious to read Durga Saptashati during Navaratri.
Auspicious time for Navratri Puja
The auspicious time for placement of earthen pot on October 10 is only till 7:45 A.M. Whereas, Puja and Kalash placement can also be done from 11:36 A.M. to noon 12:24.
Navratri Puja Samagri
The following things are must when performing Navratri puja:
Picture or Idol of Goddess Durga in the puja room
Durga Saptshati book
Moli (red sacred thread)
Ganga water or plain water in Kalash
Fresh mango leaves
Over the course of Navratri, people worship Maa Durga by fasting in the mornings, and in the evenings there is feasting and dancing. During the fasting period, while there are certain things that you are allowed to eat, while some edibles are prohibited.
Here’s the list of food that one can have during the fasting period.
Fruits – Consumption of apples, water chestnuts (singhara), bananas, pomegranate (anaar), kiwi during the fasting period saves the person from hunger and thirst.
Vegetables – Veggies like potatoes, lauki or bottle gourd, yellow pumpkin, arbi, cucumber, sweet potato and colocassia are allowed to eat during Navratri.
Flours – flours like buckwheat (kuttu), amaranth and water chestnut flour (singhara atta) can be used as healthy and amazing alternatives.
Dairy products – Dairy products like paneer, milk, yogurt, and cream can be consumed, except commercially bought butter and cheese that have lots of salt in it.
Other Navratri foods – Sabudana (tapioca pearls), coconut water, makhane or fox nuts, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut, nuts like almond, cashew, raisins and walnuts.