The festival of Navratri (literally meaning nine nights) is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals. It is celebrated to honour Goddess Durga who symbolizes power and purity. Navratri is famous for the ritual of fasting or avoiding food grains like rice, wheat and pulses for nine consecutive days. Along with Goddess Durga (and her other forms like Goddess Shakti), her daughters Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati are also worshipped during Navratri. Devotional music like bhajan renditions and also the garba dance in Gujarat mark Navratri celebrations.
Why do we celebrate Navratri?
Navratri is celebrated for different reasons and in different ways across India. In the East and many places of Northeast India, Navratri is observed as Durga Puja, signifying the victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura. In the North and Western states, however, Navratri is celebrated differently with ‘Ram Lila’ performances and the burning of effigies of Ravana, signifying Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana. The final day of Navratri is called Dussehra which is also celebrated at SSDS by burning down a massive effigy of Ravan. The overarching theme of Navratri is the victory of good over evil. The nine days of Navratri are also a major crop season cultural event.
THE 9 DAYS OF NAVRATRI
First Day: On the first day of Navratri, devotees worship Maa Shailputri. On this day, one should wear bright and vibrant Orange, which signifies energy and happiness.
Second Day: Maa Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri. It is said that one should wear white on this day, as it is a symbol of peace and purity.
Third Day: The third avatar of Maa Durga, Maa Chandraghanta isworshipped on the third day. Red is the colour for the day as it signifies beauty and fearlessness.
Fourth Day: The fourth day of Navratri is marked to worship Maa Khushmanda. It is said that one should wear royal blue on this day, as it is considered good for health and wealth.
Fifth Day: As Goddess Skandamata, mother of Lord Kartikeya, is worshipped on the fifth day, one should wear yellow. The colour stands for happiness and brightness.
Sixth Day: On the sixth day of Navratri, devotees worship Maa Kaalratri. This is also the day when Durga Puja starts. The colour for the day is green, which signifies new beginnings and growth.
Seventh Day: The seventh day of Navratri is for the worship of Maa Katyayani. On this day, one should wear grey, as it stands for strength of transforming
Eighth Day: Maa Mahagauri is worshiped on the eighth day of Navratri. It is said that one should wear purple on this day, as it is a symbol of power of intellect and peace.
Ninth Day: The ninth and last avatar of Maa Durga, Maa Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day. Peacock Green is the colour for the day it is believe to fulfill the desires of devotees.