Navratri is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. The term ‘Navratri’ is composed of two words ‘nava’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning night, put together as ‘nine nights’. Navratri is therefore a 10 day (and 9 nights) festival during which 9 forms of Goddess is worshipped. The 10th day is observed as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra. And Diwali is celebrated exactly 20 days after Dussehra.
Though there are 5 kinds of Navratri, the Sharad Navratri is the most popular one. This year, the festival will be celebrated from 21 Sep to 29 Sep 2017
We are currently heading towards Sharad Navratri. It is popularly known as ‘Garba Navratri’ because of the traditional dance ‘Garba’ which is played on this festival. The last day of this Navratri is also observed as ‘Vijaya Dashmi’ or Dussehra.
Here is the Date of Navratri 2017
Name of Festivals Days Date of Festivals
Pratipada (Navratri Day 1) Thursday 21 September 2017
Dwitiya (Navratri Day 2) Friday 22 September 2017
Tritiya (Navratri Day 3) Saturday 23 September 2017
Chaturthi (Navratri Day 4) Sunday 24 September 2017
Panchami (Navratri Day 6) Monday 25 September 2017
Sasthi (Navratri Day 6) Tuesday 26 September 2017
Saptami (Navratri Day 7) Wednesday 27 September 2017
Ashtami (Navratri Day 8) Thursday 28 September 2017
Navami (Navratri Day 9) Friday 29 September 2017
The time when Navratra is celebrated has its own significance. The beginning of spring and autumn are important phases of climate and solar influences. The two periods are considered to be the most sacred time to worship the Mother Goddess Durga. The dates are set according to the lunar calendar.
Navaratri is observed as the celebration of the Goddess Amba, the Goddess of Power.
HOW IS NAVRATRI CELEBRATED?
Each day of the 10 days long festival has its own specialty and form of worship. Following are the ways each day is celebrated:
Day 1 – 3: On the 1st day, a mud bed is prepared to grow barley seeds. This is addressed as ‘Ghatsthapana’. Goddess Durga is worshiped during these 3 days.
Day 4 – 6: For these nest 3 days, Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of knowledge & prosperity is worshiped.
Day 7 – 8: The 7th day is followed by worship of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. The 8th day, known as ‘Ashtami’ is celebrated with Yagna (holy fire) and ‘Kanjak’, a ritual in which 9 young girls (representing Goddess Durga) are honored and served holy food.
Day 9: The 9th day is known as ‘Mahanavmi’. Navratri ends on this day.