Navaratri is a time for devotion, unity, and the celebration of divine feminine energy. Navaratri is a Hindu festival mainly celebrated in India over nine nights to honour the Goddess Durga or Shakti. This festival commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura, symbolising the triumph of good over evil. Navaratri also signifies the changing seasons, notably the transition from monsoon to autumn.
During the nine days of the festival, devotees worship Goddess Durga, seek her blessings and engage in rituals and dances like dandiya and garba. You can shop from Navaratri store and avail the best deals and discounts to complement your festivities. During this festival, people fast and pray to honour the Goddess Durga. The dates are lunar-based and generally fall during the months of Ashwin, i.e., September to October.
Story Behind Navratri- Why Celebrate Navratri
The best-known story associated with Navaratri is the victory of the Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura.
As per Hindu Mythology, Mahishasura was a powerful demon who wreaked havoc on heaven and earth. The trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva came together to create the Goddess Durga. Each gifted her unique qualities, granting her extraordinary strength, weapons, and other attributes. Armed with these divine gifts, Goddess Durga fought Mahishasura for nine consecutive days and nights, ultimately defeating him.
The Spiritual Importance of Navratri
The spiritual Importance of Navaratri night is its focus on purification, devotion and worshipping the divine feminine energy in the form of the Goddess Durga. During Navaratri, each day is dedicated to Goddess Durga’s different forms. People also wear traditional dresses in specific colours, depending on the day:
Pratipada Shailputri Devi
The first day of Navaratri is the day of Shailputri. She’s the daughter of “Hemavana”, the Himalayas king. She is also known as “Mother Nature”, riding a bull and holding a lotus flower in one hand and, on the other hand, a trident representing the past, present and future. Red is the colour of this day.
Dwatiya Brahmacharini Devi
The second day is the day of Brahmacharini, “one who practices austerity”, representing bestowing success and victory. She holds prayer beads in her right hand and a water pot in her left. Blue is associated with “Brahmacharini Devi”, so it’s the colour of this day.
The third day of this celebration is devoted to Goddess “Chandraghanta,” with a bell-shaped half-moon on her forehead dedicated to her third eye. Her ten hands hold various weapons. The Goddess rides on a tiger, symbolising strength and courage. We honour Chandraghanta Devi by wearing yellow-coloured apparel associated with her and the day’s colour.
Chaturthi Kushmanda Devi
Kushmanda means “creator of the universe”. She’s also known as Ashtabhuja Devi for her eight arms. She rides a lion and is associated with the colour green. Hence, we wear green dresses on the fourth day of the Navaratri.
Panchami Skandamata Devi
People wear grey-coloured dresses on this day to honour Skandamata Devi. “Skandamta” is the mother of Kartikeya, a deity of yoga and spiritual advancement. She sits on a lotus and has four arms.
Devi Katyayani Is one of Durga’s fiercest forms, with wild hair and up to 18 arms, all holding weapons. She dispels darkness and evil, and we wear orange to worship Maa Katyayani Devi.
Devi Kalaratri is dark-complexioned and has four arms and dishevelled hair. She is also among Durga’s most menacing forms. Worshipping her is said to bring fearlessness and auspicious results. The seventh day is dedicated to Kalaratri Devi, and the devotees use and wear pink.
Mahagouri Devi is celebrated on the eighth day with sky blue dresses worn to worship the devi. She wears a white saree, symbolising serenity.
The final night of Navaratri is dedicated to Siddhidatri, meaning “supernatural power.” She sits on a lotus flower and is said to grant wisdom and happiness. Purple is associated with this day.
After Navaratri, Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is celebrated on the tenth day to signify the victory of good over evil.
Navaratri Ritual and Customs: A Celebration of Devotion, Spiritual Renewal and Unity
Navratri is marked by rituals and customs like prayer, fasting, dances, and charitable acts, fostering devotion, purification, and communal unity.
Kalash Sthapana (Ghatasthpana)
A significant ritual marking the beginning of Navaratri, it involves the following steps:
- Choose any kalash (metal pot) filled with holy water.
- Place mango leaves, symbolising prosperity, on the pot’s mouth.
- Position a coconut on the Kalash, representing Lord Shiva’s head.
- Place the kalash in the prayer spot and bury it under the soil. Over the site, sow barley seeds.
The Kalash symbolises Goddess Durga’s presence during Navaratri. The barley seeds germinate over the nine days, symbolising prosperity.
Devotional Prayers and Arti During Navaratri
Navaratri holds special importance in Hinduism. During these nine days, Shakti devotees sing bhajans and soul-stirring devotional songs. People visit temples, install idols of goddesses inside their home temples or prayer rooms, and decorate them, charged with spirituality and devotion. Feeding sweets to young girls is one of the most observed rituals during Navaratri’s last days. Devotees light lamps around the goddess’s idol during prayers and sing aartis with rhythmic clapping.
Worshipping Little Girls (Kanya Puja)
This ritual involves inviting nine young girls to your home, symbolising the nine forms of the Goddess Durga. Then, you wash their feet after offering them a meal, typically including puris, halwa, and other delicacies. The girls are offered gifts, and their blessings are sought. Many devotees contribute to charities and distribute sweets, clothes and money during this auspicious time to give back to the community.
Fasting During Navratri
For spiritual discipline to cleanse the body and the mind while deepening your connection to the Goddess Durga, avoid non-vegetarian foods during Navaratri. Consume a satvik diet and avoid onion and garlic.
Garba and Dandiya Rass During Navratri
In the nine days, people of all ages engage in dandiya celebrations using colourful wooden sticks. Garba is a dance form with graceful circular movements that radiates energy and devotion. Participants wear traditional attire such as chaniya cholis for women and kurtas for men.
Frequently Asked Questions
The nine days of Navaratri are Pratipada, Dwitiya, Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashthi, Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. Each day is dedicated to a specific form of Goddess Durga.
They symbolise Goddess Durga’s nine manifestations or forms, representing different aspects of the divine feminine energy. These days are marked by intense devotion, purification rituals, and celebrations, signifying the triumph of good over evil.
The nine names of Durga, worshipped during the Navaratri, are Shailputri Devi, Brahmacharini Devi, Chandraghanta Devi, Kushmanda Devi, Skandamata Devi, Katyayani Devi, Kalaratri Devi, Mahagauri Devi, and Siddhidatri Devi.
Navaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated for nine nights to honour Goddess Durga. Make this festive one to be remembered with our exclusive Navaratri Home Decor Items to get your home ready for the celebration. The festive symbolises the triumph of good over evil and is a time of devotion and cultural festivities.