Nav Durga is the nine forms of the mighty Goddess Durga, and we all seek her blessings during the nine days festival of Navratri. Today let us talk about this auspicious festival and how we celebrate it in entire India.
We Hindu, worship Goddess Durga and her 9 forms during this Hindu Festivals and so this festival is also known as DURGOTSAVA. Navaratri is a ten-day-long festival, and people celebrate it with great zeal and enjoyment.
When is Navratri 2020?
Navratri 2020 celebrations will commence from 17th October as per Hindu Panchang and will end on Vijayadashami on 25th October 2020.
Significance of Navratri
This is the longest and one of the most awaited Hindu festivals. According to Hindu mythology, this festival signifies the birth of the Goddess Durga. When all the deities could not defeat the demon king -Mahishasura, they created a Goddess with their collective, universal energy to destroy him.
Mahishasura was blessed with supreme powers and immortality, meaning any God or demon could not kill him. And that is why the Goddess took different forms, all the nine days to fight this demon. Based on this story, she is known as Nava Durga (Goddess who took nine different forms)
Also Read: Navratri Mantra for Nav Durga Puja.
According to famous folklore, Durga mightily fought all the nine days with different forms of her own physical body. Finally, on the tenth day, known as Dashami, Devi killed the beast -Mahishasura. So she is worshiped as Mahishasura Mardini(The one who killed Mahishasura)
This is the story behind this widely celebrated festival. People seek blessings of Durga at all the nine days. They worship all the different forms of the Goddess. It is believed that Navratri Puja if done on all the nine days with supreme devotion leads to fulfillment of all the desires of the devotee.
People do puja for all the nine days of Navratri. There are- Navratri nine days Devi names as well. Each name describes the form of Devi for that particular day. Right from the sixth day of the festival to the ninth day, Pandals are opened for the people. This is an open invitation to all the public to come and join the celebration of the festival.
It is believed that the Goddess started her journey towards the earth on the sixth day(Shasthi). This is a special day for the puja, and the majestic idols of Maa Durga are unveiled on the Shashti puja. There is a specific color, a form of a Goddess and Navratri prasad for nine days.
There are two Navratris that are celebrated in a year. One is Chaitra Navratri and another one is Shardiya Navratri. Although both the Navratris are celebrated with utmost enthusiasm but the significance of Shardiya Navratri is more and it is also celebrated on a large scale all across India.
What is Shardiya Navratri?
Shardiya Navratri is also known as Maha Navratri. It falls in the lunar month on Sharad Ritu. We worship the Shakti -feminine force of nature as a Goddess on all the nine days. And the tenth day is known as Vijaya Dashami.
People worship all the forms of Devi and do elaborate puja for all nine days. Gujarat and Maharashtra celebrate this auspicious festival with great zest. Women are a symbol of Shakti -the Goddess, and they wear various colors for all the nine days.
Navratri Colors And Puja Vidhi
Colors represent the inner personality and often are associated with a particular event or occasion in our religion. Colors reflect our emotions and feelings too! That is why each day of Navaratri is associated with a specific color.
Let us talk about the significance of color in Navratri and a brief about the puja of a particular day. Day one is the Ghatasthapna, and from this day onwards devotees chant Navdurga Mantra till nine days of puja along with Durga Chalisa
Days Of Navratri
Ghatasthapana / Pratipada - Day 1 (Yellow)
- Goddess: Shailputri Maa
- Prasad: Bhog made by Cow ghee
Devotees worship Shailputri maa on this day. Shail= mountains and Putri= daughter. She is another form of Maa Parvati- and Parvati is the first form of Goddess Durga. Goddess is dressed in yellow today
Dwitiya - Day 2 (Green)
- Goddess: Brahmacharini
- Prasad: Bhog: Made by sugar
Goddess is covered in green today. Brahmacharini is the highest spiritual dimension of Maa Durga. She is regarded to be the most peaceful and pure. Those who need peace and want to open the spiritual aspect of their lives worship this goddess.
Tritiya - Day 3 (Grey)
- Goddess: Chandraghanta
- Prasad: Dudh (milk) ka Bhog
She is a symbol of beauty and courage and dressed in Grey.
Chaturthi - Day 4 (Orange)
- Goddess: Kushmanda
- Prasad: Maalpuvan
She represents the energy form of Durga. And energy can be described in color orange. So, the attire of the Goddess on this day will be orange.
Panchami - Day 5 (White)
- Goddess: Skandamata
- Prasad: Bhog made of banana fruit
Women observe Lalita Gauri Vrata today. Skandamata is draped in white attire today
Shashti - Day 6 (Red)
- Goddess: Katyayani
- Prasad: Bhog made of honey
Today the Goddess is dressed in Red. Spiritual devotees who want to open the Third eye chakra-Ajna chakra seek her blessing.
Saptami - Day 7 (Royal Blue)
- Goddess: Kaalratri
- Prasad: Bhog made of Gud (Jaggery)
Thi day marks the beginning of the Utsav puja-Maha Saptami. Today the Goddess is dressed in royal blue.
Ashtami - Day 8 (Pink)
- Goddess: Maha Gauri
- Prasad: Bhog made of Nariyal(coconut)
Today Goddess wears Pink, and devotees wear purple color. People conduct Saraswati puja today
Navmi / Dasami - Day 9 (Purple)
- Goddess: Siddhidatri
- Prasad: Bhog of Halwa-Puri and kheer
Goddess Shhidatri is the last form of Durga and devotees wrap her in purple for the puja.
So that was all about the specific day and form of a goddess, color, and Navratri prasadam list for nine days. If you need more precise knowledge of color, puja, and form of the goddess for each day, click the link below.
As per the Gregorian calendar, this Navratri falls in March or April month. Hence also known as Vasant Navratri. This is especially celebrated in northern India with great joy and devotion.
In Andhra Pradesh, it commences with Ugadi, and in Maharashtra, it starts with Gudi Padawan. Rama Navami also falls in these nine days Navratri festival. So it is also known as Rama Navratri.
The Vibrant Celebration of Navratri
Apart from the puja, this festival is also the most awaited even amongst the youth, for its traditional rituals and nine days celebration. Garba is the conventional Gujarati dance form played on this festival. It is a traditional ritual to play Garba all nine nights during Shardiya Navratri. And almost all the states of India celebrate it by playing dandiya(Garba)
Women wear vibrant traditional attires and play Garba till late night with great vigor. This festival is the most dynamic and colorful celebration of the Shakti Tatva(Goddess Durga)
Women are generally categorized as peace lovers, beautiful and passive sources of creation. But this festival recalls the aggressive, action-oriented and energetic form of feminine traits.
Chant Navdurga Stotra every nine nights during puja and evoke your energetic feminine side! At times, if needed women should come out of her polite, empathetic, and nurturing traits and must act aggressive and determined to kill the devilish powers which could affect her home and family. What a brilliant wisdom behind the celebration of this festival!