Navaratri is celebrated with great pomp not only in India but all over the world. Navratri means nine nights, during which Hindus from all over the world worship Maa Durga and worship different forms of Maa Durga for nine days. The festival of Navaratri is considered very sacred.
Navratri 2020: Date, images, and significance.
According to the Hindu calendar, there are four Navratras throughout the year, out of which 2 Navratri are called “Main Navratri” and the remaining two Navratras are called “Gupt Navratri”. ‘Gupt Navaratri’ is especially celebrated by those who perform witchcraft.
Type of Navratri celebration in India
The first Navaratri of the ‘Main Navaratri’ is celebrated in the month of March-April which is also known as “Chaitra Navaratri” and the second Navaratri is celebrated in the month of September-October which is known as “Shardiya Navaratri”. Below we have provided some special things about these four Navratri;
1. Chaitra Navratri:
Chaitra Navratri is considered to be the beginning of the Hindu New Year and this Navratri is celebrated during March-April. This Navratri is celebrated for 9 days and ‘Ramnavami’ is celebrated on the tenth day and that is why this Navratri is also called “Ram Navratri”. This Navaratri is celebrated in the spring season, hence many people also call it “Basant Navaratri”.
2. Sharadiya Navratri:
This Navaratri is the second part of the main Navaratri, it falls on the “Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month”. It is called the ‘Shardiya Navaratri’ because the winterly autumn also begins in India with the arrival of this Navaratri. This Navratri marks the auspicious arrival of festival season and on the tenth day of this Navaratri, Dussehra is held and Deepawali is celebrated after 20 days.
3. Magh Navratri:
This Navaratri is a part of “Gupt Navaratri”, which is celebrated during January-February. As we told you earlier that not everyone celebrates “Gupt Navaratri”, so this Navaratri is celebrated only in some limited parts of India. Magh Navratri is more important among sages and they do spiritual practice at this time.
4. Ashadh Navratri
According to the Hindu calendar, the month of “Ashadh” is considered to be the month of rain and this “Gupt Navaratri” is celebrated in the month of ‘Ashadh’. It is not very popular in the general public that’s why it is only celebrated by some saintly people.
Note- Of all the Navratri mentioned above, ‘Durga Puja’ is practiced in “Sharadiya Navratri”. “Durga pandals” are established and worshiped at various places in this Navaratri and people install the idol of Goddess Durga in their homes.
Why do we celebrate Navratri?
The reason for celebrating “Durga Puja” also varies as per the beliefs of people. Many people believe that Goddess Durga killed a demon named ‘Mahishasura’ at this time. Therefore, Durga Puja is celebrated as a symbol of good over evil. Some people believe that these are the 9 days in the year when the mother Durga comes to her maternal house (father’s house), so these 9 days of the year are of celebration.
This worship of “Navdurga” is celebrated with great pomp in many states of India like Bengal. “Durga Pooja” is organized in Bangal for almost 10 days which is very famous.
Everybody celebrates the festival of Navratri and worships through legal practice. But do you know why the celebration of Navratri lasts for 9 days? The main reason for celebrating Navratri for 9 days is that nine forms of Maa Durga are worshiped in these 9 days.
9 forms of Goddess Durga
The main reason for celebrating Navratri for 9 days is that during these 9 days, nine different forms of Maa Durga are worshiped. There are nine forms of Maa Durga which are as follows;
- Maa shailputri
- Maa brahmacharini
- Maa chandraghanta
- Maa kushmanda
- Maa skandamata
- Maa katyayani
- Maa kalaratri
- Maa Mahagauri
- Maa siddhidatri
It is believed that by worshiping different forms of Goddess Durga for nine days, all the sins are destroyed and there are happiness and prosperity in the house. Worshiping Goddess Durga results in the fulfillment of desired will and wish.
How to celebrate Navratri?
Navratri is worshiped for 9 days in accordance with the Dharma Granth by law. All Hindu people do “Kalash installation” in their homes and people keep fast for 9 days. There are beliefs that Goddess Durga is pleased by keeping the fast and fulfills all the wishes of the devotees. The first and last day of Navaratri is very important and people worship Maa Durga in the morning and evening.
Different Navratri has different methods of worship and special care is taken for the method of worship. It is believed that worshiping Maa Durga incorrectly can also result in adverse effects, so one should have knowledge of all the methods of worshiping.
On the last day of Navratri, people provide food to the girls and also honor them. Mother Durga is pleased by offering food to poor and needy people and blesses her devotees. On the day of Navratri, people also install the idol of Maa Durga and it is also immersed on the last day.
Sharadiya Navratri 2020
Sharadiya Navratri falls on the “Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month” and this year Sharadiya Navratri will be celebrated from October 17 to October 25. This year Ram Navami is on 24 October. The auspicious time of the establishment of the “Kalash” is from 6:27 am to 10:13 am.
Significance of Navratri in different regions of the country
Durga Puja is held for 9 days in West Bengal during Navratri. People from all over the world gather to see Durga Puja of Kolkata. Bengali people are considered to be the biggest devotees of Maa Durga and they worship Goddess Durga during these 9 days. A fair is organized on this occasion of Navratri and people also play Holi on the last day. In this program of Durga Puja, tableaux are taken out at different places in which artists perform. The idol artists of West Bengal fascinate everyone with their art.
Navratri is also very important in Punjab, in Punjab it is called “Navratra” and people keep fast for 7 days. On the eighth day, people break their fast and worship girls and provide food to them. “Ramlila” is a special event in Punjab where effigies of Ravana are lit.
Garba and Dandiya are organized during Navratri in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Many big institutions organize dandiya in their own places and everyone participates and dances. The government of Gujarat formally organizes the Navratri celebrations where people from all over the world come to see it. During this time people enjoy Gujarati and Marathi cuisine.
Navratri is celebrated with great pomp in Mumbai, as Mumbai is situated on the seashore, so there is great thrill during idol immersion.
In some parts of India such as Rajasthan, cattle are sacrificed to Maa Durga. There are beliefs that mother Durga is pleased when she got sacrifices of the animals. Cocks and goats are sacrificed in places like Assam, West Bengal, and Nepal.
Image source: pexels