Why do we celebrate Navratri for nine days and what is the importance of it?
Navratri- A Festival Of Nine Days
Navratri is one of the biggest and widely celebrated festivals in India. It is a festival of Nine holy nights, when Maa Goddess is worshipped in her all-holy forms like Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Shakti, etc. It is one of the longest festivals celebrated in India.
Navratri is celebrated twice in a year.
- Chaitra or Vasanta Navratri: It is celebrated in the month of March or April. 9th is the final day for this Navratri and it is celebrated as Ram Navami.
- Sharada or Maha Navratri: It is celebrated in the month of September or October. This Navratri ends on the 10th day which is celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra, the celebration of good things over evil.
Though in both the Navratri, Maa Goddess is worshipped. The Sharada or Maha Navratri is more popular and widely celebrated.
Why do we celebrate Navratri for nine days?
The Navratri festival is associated with the story of demon Mahishasur who got the blessing from Brahma that no man on earth could kill him. Due to this blessing, he won all the three lokasi. e. world and made everyone to live life under his fear. To stop his rising sins, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva combined their power and formed a Shakti called MaaDurga. MaaDurga fought with Mahishasur for nine days and on a ninth day, Mahishasur was killed by MaaDurga. Therefore, the tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashami, a victory of good over evil.
To honor MaaDurga for her victory over evil, in Navratri all the nine forms of MaaDurga are worshipped on nine days. Each day is associated with an avatar of the goddess.
Importance of each day of Navratri
The importance of each day of Navratri and the color associated with that day are as follows:
Navratri Day 1: Shailaputri Avatar(Red color)
On the first day, Pratipada is associated with Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain), an avatar of MaaParvati. She is depicted as riding a bull (Nandi). There is a Trishul in her right hand and lotus flower in her left hand. The color associated with this day is red. Red color indicates vigor and action.
Navratri Day 2: Brahmacharini
On the second day of Navratri, Goddess Brahmacharini, again the incarnation of Parvati, is worshipped. In this avatar, Brahmacharini is worshipped for moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity and is depicted as holding a japamala and kamandal in her hands. The color associated with this day is Blue which indicates strong energy.
Navratri day 3: Chandraghanta
On the third day,maaChandraghanta is worshipped She is depicted as ten hands holding ten kinds of weapons like swords and arrows. The color associated with this day is Yellow.
Navratri Day 4: Kushmanda
On the fourth day of Navratri, MaaKushmanda is worshiped. She is depicted as a figure with her eight hands and used every hand to create this world and sits on the tiger. The color associated with this day is Green.
Navratri day 5: Skandmata
The goddess, Skandamata is worshiped on the fifth day of Navratri. She is called the mother of Skanda or Kartikeya. She is depicted as holding the infant, along with a lotus flower, in her four hands. It is considered that she fulfills all your desires through her worship. The color associated with this day is Gray.
Navratri Day 6: Katyayani
On the sixth day, an incarnation of MaaDurga, Katyayana, is worshipped. She is called as the warrior goddess who exhibits courage. She is depicted as rides a lion and has four hands. The color associated with this day is Orange.
Navratri day 7: Kalaratri
On the seventh day, another form of MaaDurga, called Kalaratri is worshipped. The color of the day is White. She is depicted as a figure with a lot of rage in her fiery eyes and fourhanded Goddess. The color associated with this day is White which indicates peace.
Navratri day 8: Mahagauri
Goddess Maha Gauri is worshipped on Ashtami, the eighth day of Navratri. She is called Goddess of peace and intelligence. The color associated with this day is Pink. The pink color indicates optimism.
Navratri day 9: Sidhidatri
On a ninth day, deviSiddhidhatri is worshipped. She is depicted with a figure which is sitting on a lotus. She is also called as Saraswati Devi. The color associated with the last day is light which is the color of admiration towards nature's beauty.
Devotees celebrate all these nine colorful days by keeping fasts and dressing up in the colors associated with that day.