Shardiya Navratri, also known as Maha Navratri, is a vibrant and spiritually significant festival celebrated with great enthusiasm across India and among Hindu communities worldwide. This auspicious festival falls in the Hindu month of Ashwin, which typically spans from late September to early October. Shardiya Navratri extends over nine nights and is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga and her various divine manifestations.
During this sacred period, devotees engage in rituals, offer prayers, and partake in cultural festivities that illuminate the spiritual landscape. The grand culmination on the tenth day, known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra, symbolizes the victory of good over evil, a theme exemplified by the legendary triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Shardiya Navratri 2023: Start and End Dates
Mark your calendars for Shardiya Navratri 2023, which is scheduled to commence on Sunday, October 15, and conclude on Tuesday, October 24. This period holds immense significance for devotees who eagerly await the opportunity to celebrate and express their devotion to Goddess Durga.
The Shardiya Navratri 2023 tithi calendar is as follows:
|15 October (Sunday)||Ghatasthapana||Maa Shailputri Puja|
|16 October (Monday)||Maa Brahmacharini Puja|
|17 October (Tuesday)||Maa Chandraghanta Puja|
|18 October (Wednesday)||Maa Kushmanda Puja, Vinayaka Chaturthi|
|19 October (Thursday)||Maa Skandamata Puja|
|20 October (Friday)||Maa Katyayani Puja|
|21 October (Saturday)||Maa Kalaratri Puja|
|22 October (Sunday)||Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Kanya Puja|
|23 October (Monday)||Maha Navami, Maa Siddhidatri Puja, Havan|
|24 October (Tuesday)||Vijayadashami, Dussehra, Navratri Paran, Durga Visarjan|
Navratri 2023: 9 Colors and Their Significance
Navratri is not only a time for spiritual reflection but also a celebration of vibrant colors. Each day of Navratri is associated with a specific color, and wearing these colors holds particular significance:
- Day 1 (15 October) – Red: Symbolizes action and vigor. It represents Goddess Shailputri’s strength.
- Day 2 (16 October) – Royal Blue: Signifies tranquility and serenity, reflecting the attributes of Goddess Brahmacharini.
- Day 3 (17 October) – Yellow: Represents brightness and hope, echoing the grace of Goddess Chandraghanta.
- Day 4 (18 October) – Green: Symbolizes growth and prosperity, mirroring the blessings of Goddess Kushmanda.
- Day 5 (19 October) – Grey: Signifies balance and maturity, in tune with Goddess Skandamata’s nurturing presence.
- Day 6 (20 October) – Orange: Represents energy and enthusiasm, embodying the spirit of Goddess Katyayani.
- Day 7 (21 October) – White: Signifies purity and truth, reflecting the divinity of Goddess Kalaratri.
- Day 8 (22 October) – Pink: Symbolizes love and optimism, mirroring the grace of Goddess Mahagauri.
- Day 9 (23 October) – Purple: Represents spirituality and enlightenment, echoing the blessings of Goddess Siddhidatri.
Devotees often dress in these colors during the respective days of Navratri as a gesture of reverence and devotion to the presiding goddess.
Rituals and Celebrations During Shardiya Navratri
“Navratri is a time of introspection, prayer, and festive joy. It’s an opportunity to connect with the divine and seek blessings for a prosperous life.”
The celebration of Shardiya Navratri involves a series of rituals and festivities, each day dedicated to honoring a specific form of Goddess Durga. Here are some of the common practices during this auspicious period:
On the first day, Ghatasthapana is performed, marking the official commencement of Navratri. Devotees establish a sacred pot (kalash) as a symbol of Goddess Durga’s presence in their homes. The pot is filled with water, and a coconut, mango leaves, and a sacred thread are tied around its neck.
2. Fasting and Feasting:
Many devotees observe fasts during Navratri, refraining from consuming grains and certain foods. Instead, they opt for sattvic (pure) meals, which include fruits, dairy products, and specific flours. At the same time
, sumptuous feasts are prepared to offer to the goddess.
3. Dandiya and Garba Dance:
One of the highlights of Navratri is the energetic and colorful Dandiya and Garba dance. People come together in groups, dressed in traditional attire, and dance to the beats of folk music with dandiya sticks. It’s a joyful celebration of unity and devotion.
4. Goddess Worship:
Each day of Navratri is dedicated to the worship of a different form of Goddess Durga. Devotees perform elaborate rituals, decorate idols, and offer special prayers and bhajans (devotional songs).
5. Kanya Puja:
On the eighth day, known as Ashtami, young girls are revered as the embodiment of Goddess Durga and are offered a sumptuous meal. This tradition, known as Kanya Puja, symbolizes the nurturing and empowering aspect of the goddess.
During Navratri, the epic story of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and the demon king Ravana is enacted in the form of Ramleela performances. These plays culminate on Vijayadashami, celebrating Lord Rama’s victory.
Significance of Vijayadashami
Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra, is the grand finale of Shardiya Navratri. It falls on the tenth day and holds immense cultural and spiritual significance. This day marks the victory of righteousness over evil, as it commemorates Lord Rama’s triumph over the demon king Ravana.
Effigies of Ravana, his brothers, and his mighty demon form are burnt in large processions across India. It symbolizes the destruction of evil forces and the triumph of dharma (righteousness).
In addition to the festivities, Vijayadashami also signifies new beginnings. It is considered an auspicious time to start new ventures, enroll in educational courses, and seek the blessings of the divine for success and prosperity.
Celebrate Shardiya Navratri with Devotion
As Shardiya Navratri 2023 approaches, devotees eagerly anticipate this nine-night extravaganza of spirituality and celebration. It is a time to connect with the divine, reflect on one’s life journey, and seek blessings for a prosperous and joyful future.
By participating in the rituals, donning the colors of each day, and immersing oneself in the cultural festivities, one can experience the true essence of Shardiya Navratri. Let this auspicious occasion fill your heart with devotion and your life with triumph.