Navrarti 2020: Celebrations start tomorrow; date, time, colours and significance of the autumnal festival
Navratri is actually celebrated twice a year. Sharad or Sharadiya Navratri takes place between September and October while Chaitra Navratri falls between March and April
A nine-day Hindu festival that falls in the month of autumn, Navratri is dedicated to the different forms of Goddess Durga. Devotees worship nine avatars of the Goddess during these nine days.
Navratri is celebrated during the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, which usually falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. In 2020, the festival of Navratri will start on 17 October and will go on till 25 October. This is also the time when Sharadiya Durga Puja is celebrated in the eastern part of India.
In some states, Navratri is also synonymous with Ram Lila and Dussehra that celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Navratri is actually celebrated twice a year. Sharad or Sharadiya Navratri takes place between September and October while Chaitra Navratri falls between March and April.
Here are the dates and puja timings for Navratri 2020 according to Drikpanchang.
17 October: Day 1, Pratipada, Ghatasthapana, Shailputri Puja. Navratri colour of the days is grey.
18 October: Day 2, Dwitiya, Chandra Darshana, Brahmacharini Puja. Colour of the day is orange.
Day 3: 19 October, Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja. Colour of the day is orange.
Day 4: 20 October, Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Upang Lalita Vrat. Navratri colour of the day is red.
Day 5: 21 October, Panchami, Skandamata Puja, Saraswati Avahan. Colour of the Day is royal blue.
Day 6: 22 October, Shashthi, Katyayani Puja, Saraswati Puja. Colour of the day is yellow.
Day 7: 23 October, Saptami, Kalaratri Puja. Navratri colour of the day is green.
Day 8: 24 October, Ashtami, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja, Maha Navami. Colour of the day is peacock green.
Day 9: 25 October, Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa, Navratri Parana, Vijayadashami. Colour of the day is purple.
Vijaya Dashami and Durga Visarjan takes place on 26 October.
According to Drikpanchang, the name Sharadiya Navratri has been taken from the Sharad Ritu. All nine days are dedicated to the nine forms of the Goddess.
Navratri puja is usually done during the nine days most often in the evenings after sunset. While different deities are worshipped on different days, the underlying commonality is the worship of Goddess Durga. Devotees honour the goddess by performing rituals and worshipping her idol or a picture of her. Different dishes are prepared and offered to her on different days. After the end of daily puja, prasad is offered and aarti is conducted. Some people observe a fast for all the nine days in honour of the deities. The fasting commences in the morning and continues till the evening when they break the fast by partaking in the prasad offered to the deity.
When the ritual of kumari puja was started by Ramakrishna Paramhansa, it was meant to reinforce the essential divinity of the girl child. It is critical that this association is reimagined and refurbished in the current context to make it relevant.
This festival is marked for the duration of nine days where devotees worship the nine forms of goddess Durga. This year, Navratri will be observed from 7 to 15 October.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis and for people living in the eastern part of India while Navratri is celebrated in the northern and western parts of India.