Navratri, Festival of Nine Nights

Navratri
Navratri, the festival of nights, lasts for 9 days with three days each devoted to worship of Ma
Durga, the Goddess of Valor, Ma Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Ma Saraswati, the Goddess of
Knowledge. During the nine days of Navratari, feasting and fasting take precedence over all
normal daily activities amongst the Hindus. Evenings give rise to the religious dances in order
to worhip Goddess Durga Maa.
The Mysore Palace in Karnataka, illuminated for the Dasara festival during navratri

The Mysore Palace in Karnataka, illuminated for the Dasara festival during navratri

1st – 3rd day of Navratri
On the first day of the Navaratras, a small bed of mud is prepared in the puja room of the house
and barley seeds are sown on it. On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 – 5 inches in length.
After the puja, these seedlings are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from god.
These initial days are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power and energy. Her various
manifestations, Kumari, Parvati and Kali are all worshipped during these days. They represent the
three different classes of womanhood that include the child, the young girl and the mature woman.
4th – 6th day of Navratri
During these days, Lakshmi Maa, the Goddess of peace and prosperity is worshipped. On the fifth
day which is known as Lalita Panchami, it is traditional, to gather and display all literature
available in the house, light a lamp or ‘diya’ to invoke Saraswati Maa, the Goddess of knowledge
and art.
7th – 8th day of Navratri
These final days belong to Saraswati Maa who is worshipped to acquire the spiritual knowledge.
This in turn will free us from all earthly bondage. But on the 8th day of this colourful
festival, yagna (holy fire) is performed. Ghee (clarified butter), kheer (rice pudding) and
sesame seeds form the holy offering to Goddess Durga Maa.
Mahanavami
The festival of Navratri culminates in Mahanavami. On this day Kanya Puja is performed. Nine
young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Their feet are washed as
a mark of respect for the Goddess and then they are offered new clothes as gifts by the
worshiper. This ritual is performed in most parts of the country.
image desc : The Mysore Palace in Karnataka, illuminated for the Dasara festival during navratri
est bengal image : desc : Devotees lit in West Bengal light to celebrate navratri and durga puja
durga image : desc “The nine forms of Durga” displayed in Benares, Uttar Pradesh
garba image
Navaratri Colours
Parrot Green – Goddess worshipped is Amba.
Orange – Goddess Tara in some regions, Chamunda in other places.
Yellow – Goddess Shorashi or Ashtamukhi
Sky Blue – Goddess Bhuvneshwari
Pink – Goddess Chinnamasta or Upang Lalita
Grey – Goddess Bhairavi or Maha Kali
Green – Goddess Dhoomavati or Jagdamba
Ink Blue – Goddess Bagala or Narayani
Royal Blue – Goddess Matangi or Renuka
Red – Goddess worshipped is Kamala or Durga (Vijaya Dasami Day)
Several other colors like white, deep green, deep orange, peacock green etc are found in some
years. Any of the above said colors are replaced then.

Navratri, the festival of nights, lasts for 9 days with three days each devoted to worship of Maa Durga, the Goddess of Valor, Ma Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Ma Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. During the nine days of Navratari, feasting and fasting take precedence over all normal daily activities amongst the Hindus. Evenings give rise to the religious dances in order to worhip Goddess Durga Maa.

1st – 3rd day of Navratri

On the first day of the Navaratras, a small bed of mud is prepared in the puja room of the house and barley seeds are sown on it. On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 – 5 inches in length. After the puja, these seedlings are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from god. These initial days are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power and energy. Her various manifestations, Kumari, Parvati and Kali are all worshipped during these days. They represent the three different classes of womanhood that include the child, the young girl and the mature woman.

4th – 6th day of Navratri

During these days, Lakshmi Maa, the Goddess of peace and prosperity is worshipped. On the fifth day which is known as Lalita Panchami, it is traditional, to gather and display all literature available in the house, light a lamp or ‘diya’ to invoke Saraswati Maa, the Goddess of knowledge and art.

7th – 8th day of Navratri

These final days belong to Saraswati Maa who is worshipped to acquire the spiritual knowledge. This in turn will free us from all earthly bondage. But on the 8th day of this colourful festival, yagna (holy fire) is performed. Ghee (clarified butter), kheer (rice pudding) and sesame seeds form the holy offering to Goddess Durga Maa.

Mahanavami

The festival of Navratri culminates in Mahanavami. On this day Kanya Puja is performed. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Their feet are washed as a mark of respect for the Goddess and then they are offered new clothes as gifts by the worshiper. This ritual is performed in most parts of the country.

Devotees lit in West Bengal light to celebrate navratri and durga puja

Devotees lit in West Bengal light to celebrate navratri and durga puja


Navaratri Colours

Parrot Green – Goddess worshipped is Amba.

Orange – Goddess Tara in some regions, Chamunda in other places.

Yellow – Goddess Shorashi or Ashtamukhi

Sky Blue – Goddess Bhuvneshwari

Pink – Goddess Chinnamasta or Upang Lalita

Grey – Goddess Bhairavi or Maha Kali

Green – Goddess Dhoomavati or Jagdamba

Ink Blue – Goddess Bagala or Narayani

Royal Blue – Goddess Matangi or Renuka

Red – Goddess worshipped is Kamala or Durga (Vijaya Dasami Day)

Several other colors like white, deep green, deep orange, peacock green etc are found in some years. Any of the above said colors are replaced then.

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