Navratri is considered to be one of the most celebrated festivals of India. Significant for Hindus, as the name suggests 'navratri', it is observed for 9 nights, every year. This year Navratri celebrations will start from 29 September to 7 October.
The festival falls in the lunar month of Ashvin month of the Hindu calendar. Although Navratri is celebrated during the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), but the Shardiya Navratri is celebrated with much fervour and grandeur, which falls during the September-October month.
The festival is celebrated across parts of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. And in Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar people celebrate Durga Puja during this time.
Legend has it that during these nine days Goddess Durga comes to earth and each day all her nine avatars are worshipped.Significance Of Navratri
Navratri is celebrated to mark the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo-demon named Mahishasura. It is believed that Mahishasura took advantage of his powers and waged a war against the Gods. Hence, the Gods created Goddess Durga by collectively infusing all their powers and hence Ma Durga was born. This made her unconquerable.
Durga is shown to have ten hands and carries different weapons in each of them. As per the story, a fierce battle took place in which she rode a lion and she killed Mahishasura. This signifies good always wins over evil.
Navratri is also the time when Ramleela events take place, people indulge in folk dance and singing. In Gujarat, garba, a folk dance is popular during this festival.
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In West Bengal, Navratri festival is known as Durga Puja or Durgotsav. Extravagant pandals are set up and various types of delicacies are prepared on the occasion of Durga Puja.
During Navratri, devotees observe fast and eat vegetables, fruits and milk. People avoid eating cereals, non-vegetarian food and grains.
Nine Days Dedicated To Nine Goddesses
Pratipada (Day 1) - Goddess Shailputri, an avatar of Goddess Durga is the embodiment of the collective power of Vishnu, Brahma, and Mahesh.
Dwitiya (Day 2)- Goddess Brahmcharini, the second avatar of Ma Durga showers happiness, peace, prosperity, and grace.
Tritiya (Day 3) - Goddess Chandraghanta symbolizes bravery and is worshipped for peace, prosperity and tranquillity in life.
Chaturthi (Day 4) - Goddess Kushmunda is considered to the creator of the universe.
Panchami (Day 5) - Goddess Skand Mata is worshipped as she represents the vulnerability of a mother who can fight against anyone to protect her child.
Shashti (Day 6) - Goddess Katyayani, another avatar of Durga Ma who represents immense courage.
Saptami (Day 7) - Goddess Kalratri, the most fierce form of Ma Durga.
Ashtami (Day 8) - Goddess Maha Gauri, represents peace, calm, intelligence, and prosperity.
Navami (Day 9) - Goddess Siddhidatri, the ninth avatar of Goddess Durga is known for having supernatural healing powers.
Dashami (Day 10) - This day is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dusshera.
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Pratipada - Ghatasthapana - Mata Shailputri Puja
Pratipada tithi starts at 11.56 PM on 28 September and ends at 8.14 PM on 29 September.
Ghatasthapana muhurat starts from 6.01 AM to 7.16 AM
Dwitiya - Mata Brahmacharini Puja
Dwitiya tithi is till 4.49 PM.
Tritiya - Mata Chandraghanta Puja
Tritiya Tithi is till 1.55 PM.
Chaturthi - Mata Kushmanda Puja
Chaturthi Tithi is till 11.40 AM.
Panchami - Devi Skandmata Puja
Panchami Tithi is till 10.12 AM
Shashti - Mata Katyayani Puja
Shashti Tithi is till 09.35 AM
Saptami - Mata Kalaratri Puja
Saptami Tithi is till 09.51 AM
Ashtami - Mahagouri Puja
Ashtami Tithi is till 10.54 AM
Navami - Maa Durga Puja / Mata Siddhidatri
Navami Tithi is till 12.38 PM