Navratri 2015 starts on the 13th of October. Navratri is a nine-day festival celebrated by Hindus with all the nine days representing the nine manifestations of the powerful and benevolent Goddess Durga. Navratri is derived from the Sanskrit words “nava” which means nine and “ratri” which means night. Maa Durga (also known as Navdurga) is worshipped in Her different incarnations for ten days and nine nights during the festival which is celebrated all over India. Worshipping the nine forms of Durga is the main ritual during the Navratri Puja. It is the most auspicious period to perform devotional sadhanas, pray to Goddess Durga and perform the Navratri puja. On the tenth day of this festival, known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra (Dasara) the idols of Goddess Durga is immersed in a water body.
Although Navratri is celebrated all across India, the festivities are at fever pitch in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and southern parts of Karnataka. In West Bengal Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja.
The Four Different Navratris in a Year
This festival is celebrated at four different times in a year. They are:
- Magh Navratri, also known as Gupt Navratri (January – February, observed only in certain regions of North India)
- Vasant Navratri or Ram Navratri, also known as Chaitra Navratri (March – April)
- Ashad Navratri, also known as Gupt Navratri (June – July, observed only in certain regions of North India)
- Shardiya Navratri, also known as Maha Navratri (September – October)
Out of the above four, Vasant Navratri and Shardiya Navratri are celebrated by devotees with much pomp and festivities as they are considered to be auspicious. Shardiya Navratri is the most important Navratri and is hence called Maha Navratri or Great Navratri. It is also called as Sharad Navratri as it is celebrated at the beginning of winter (Sharad). It falls on the first day or Pratipada of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvin.
The nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are: Shailputri, Brahmcharni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.
Navratri Puja Vidhi and Puja Samagri
|Puja Samagri which is used for Navratri Puja includes:|
|• Photo or Idol of Goddess Durga of Navdurga||• A clay pot with soil||• Barley seeds||• Kalash||• Coconut|
|• Red cloth||• Five Leaves from Mango tree||• Flower garland||• 10 Coins||• Chowki|
|• Sacred Thread (Moli)||• Akshat (raw colored rice)||• Incense||• Chunri||• Oil Lamp|
|• Naivedya||• Roli for Tilak||• Puja Plate||• Bell||• Flour|
|• Durga Saptshati book||• Ganga Jal||• Supari (Areca nuts)||• Paan (Betel leaves)||• Cloves|
|• Cardamom||• Kumkum (vermilion)||• Gulal|
The Navratri puja is to be conducted at a particular time each day. Sunrise is considered to be the best time for performing the puja. Sthapana of the idol and the Kalash with mango leaves and coconut are done on the chowki during the very first day. It is also a ritual to sow barley seeds in a clay pot and water it. Prayers are offered to Maa Durga and an Aarti is conducted. During each day of Navratri the devotees must recite the Durga Saptshati. Kanya puja is performed on the ninth day of Navratri. Kanya Puja is the tradition where 9 girls (who haven’t reached sexual maturity) represented as the nine manifestations of Maa Durga are revered and fed.
Important Dates for Navratri 2015
Navratri begins on the 13th of October in 2015. The important dates, the pujas to be performed and the colors to be worn on specific days are as given below.
|1st & 2nd Day of Navratri : 13th & 14th October, 2015 (Tuesday & Wednesday)|
|Tithi – Pratipada|
|Ritual – Ghatsthapana, Chandra Darshan|
|Goddess Worshipped – Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain)|
|Offerings to the Goddess – Ghee|
|Color to be Worn on the Day – Red & Royal Blue|
|Shailaputri Maha Puja|
|3rd Day of Navratri : 15th October, 2015 (Thursday)||4th Day of Navratri : 16th October, 2015 (Friday)|
|Tithi – Dwitiya||Tithi – Tritiya|
|Ritual –||Ritual – Sindoor Tritiya|
|Goddess Worshipped – Brahmacharini||Goddess Worshipped – Chandraghanta|
|Offerings to the Goddess – Sugar||Offerings to the Goddess – Milk|
|Color to be Worn on the Day – Yellow||Color to be Worn on the Day – Green|
|Brahmacharini Maha Puja||Chandraghanta Maha Puja|
|5th Day of Navratri : 17th October, 2015 (Saturday)||6th Day of Navratri : 18th October, 2015 (Sunday)|
|Tithi – Chaturthi||Tithi – Panchami|
|Ritual – Varad Vinayaka Chauth, Upang Lalita Vrat||Ritual – Saraswati Awahan|
|Goddess Worshipped – Kushmanda||Goddess Worshipped – Skandamata|
|Offerings to the Goddess – Malpua||Offerings to the Goddess – Bananas|
|Color to be Worn on the Day – Grey||Color to be Worn on the Day – Orange|
|Kushmanda Maha Puja||Skandamata Maha Puja|
|7th Day of Navratri : 19th October, 2015 (Monday)||8th Day of Navratri : 20th October, 2015 (Tuesday)|
|Tithi – Shashthi||Tithi – Saptami|
|Ritual –||Ritual –|
|Goddess Worshipped – Katyayani||Goddess Worshipped – Kaalratri|
|Offerings to the Goddess – Honey||Offerings to the Goddess – Jaggery Dishes|
|Color to be Worn on the Day – White||Color to be Worn on the Day – Pink|
|Katyayini Maha Puja||Kaalratri Maha Puja|
|9th Day of Navratri : 21st October, 2015 (Wednesday)||10th Day of Navratri : 22nd October, 2015 (Thursday)|
|Tithi – Ashtami||Tithi – Navami|
|Ritual – Annapoorna Parikrama, Saraswati Visarjan||Ritual – Navratri Parana|
|Goddess Worshipped – Mahagauri||Goddess Worshipped – Siddhidaatri|
|Offerings to the Goddess – Coconut||Offerings to the Goddess – Grains|
|Color to be Worn on the Day – Sky Blue||Color to be Worn on the Day – Purple|
|Mahagauri Maha Puja||Siddhidatri Maha Puja|
- The date for Visarjan (or immersion of the deity idol) is on the 22nd of October although some regions also perform Visarjan on the 23rd.
- In Kerala the 23rd of October is observed as “Vidyarambham”.
- In many calendars the 9th and the 10th day are marked on the same day.
- The Mahanavai fasting is held on the October 21st in all regions.
- In South India Goddess Durga is worshipped during the first three days, Maha Lakshmi is worshipped for the next three days and Saraswati Devi is worshipped on the last three days.