New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Navratri is right around the corner and is considered as one of the grandest Hindu festivals. Navratri festival spans nine nights where people worship the nine forms of goddess Durga. The word Navratri is from Sanskrit, nava means nine and ratris night.

There are four seasonal Navratri but Sharda Navratri which is the post-monsoon autumn festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. This festival is observed in the bright half of Hindu Lunar month Ashwin. The celebrations vary by region and traditions.

Navratri: Date

This year it will be celebrated from October 7th to October 15th. 

Navratri: Significance

Sharda Navratri is the most celebrated of the four Navratris of the year. Sharda is Sharad ritu means autumn. This festival commences on the pratipada that is the first day of the Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month and continues for nine nights. It concludes on Ashwin Shukla Navami.

These nine days are dedicated to the incarnation of the goddess Durga. On each day one from of Devi Durga is worshipped. The nine incarnations of Durga are as follows

Day 1 - Shailputri

On the first day incarnation of Maa Parvati Shailputri, who is the daughter of Mountain is worshipped.

Day 2 - Brahamcharini

On the second day unmarried self of Maa Parvati, Brahmcharini is worshipped.

Day 3 - Chandraghanta

Maa Parvati adorned her forehead with the ardhachandra after marrying Lord Shiva. On third day this from of Maa Durga is worshipped.

Day 4 - Kushmanda

Kushmanda incarnation is believed to be the creative power of the universe. On the fourth day Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped.

Day 5 - Skandamata

Skandamata is the mother of Skanda ( Known as Kartikeya also ). This form is worshipped on Panchami the fifth day.

Day 6 - Katyayani

Known as warrior goddess, she is daughter of sage Katyayana, is celebrated on sixth day.

Day 7 - Kaalratri

The most ferocious form of Maa Durga is revered on seventh day

Day 8 - Mahagauri

Devi Mahagauri is celebrated on ashtami, the eighth day. She symbolizes peace and intelligence.

Day 9 - Siddhidatri

On the last day on Navami devotees pray Goddess Siddhidatri, she possesses and bestows Siddhis. She is Ardhanarishvara from of Lord Shiva and Shakti.

Celebrations

This festival is a celebration of victory of good over evil. On the call and prayers of Gods, to restore dharma, Maa Durga battles and emerges victorious over demon Mahishasura. During nine days, nine incarnations of Maa Durga are worshiped. Pandals are designed and beautifully decorated. Idols of Devi Durga along with Lord Ganesha, Maa Lakshmi, Lord Kartikeya and Maa Saraswati are installed. Daily worship is done following all the rituals. Many devotees observe fast during these days.

On the final day, Vijaya Dashami the idols are carried out in processions and immersed in water. The celebrations vary by region and local culture. Unmarried girls are worshipped and fed, they are treated as incarnation of Goddess Durga. Different cultural programs are organised, people enjoy the celebrations with enthusiasm.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal