Navratri 2023: Dates, Duration, Celebrations, Rituals, Significance and Folklore•
Posted on March 14 2023
Navratri is a popular Hindu festival that is celebrated across India with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival is a nine-day celebration that commemorates the victory of good over evil. Navratri is celebrated twice a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn. In this article, we will take a closer look at Navratri, its significance, rituals, and stories related to the festival.
Dates and Duration of Navratri
The Chaitra Navratri 2023 will begin on Wednesday, March 22, 2023; and will last for the following nine days, till March 31, 2023
Navratri is celebrated twice a year, once in the spring, known as Chaitra Navratri, and once in the autumn, known as Sharad Navratri. The dates of Navratri vary every year according to the Hindu calendar. Chaitra Navratri usually falls in March or April, while Sharad Navratri usually falls in September or October. The festival is celebrated for nine days and ends with the celebration of Dussehra, which marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.
Celebrations during Navratri
Navratri is celebrated with great fervour and devotion throughout India. The festival is celebrated by fasting, praying, and performing various rituals. During Navratri, people dress up in traditional attire and perform garba and dandiya, which are traditional dance forms that are performed in groups.
In many parts of India, people observe fasts during Navratri. Some people fast for all nine days, while others fast on the first and last day of Navratri. The fast is broken in the evening with a special meal that is prepared using ingredients such as sabudana, potatoes, and peanuts.
Rituals of Navratri
Navratri is a festival that is steeped in rituals and traditions. One of the main rituals of Navratri is the worship of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to a different form of the goddess, and prayers and offerings are made to her. The nine forms of Goddess Durga are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.
Another important ritual of Navratri is the installation of the Navratri Golu, which is a display of dolls and figurines that depict scenes from Hindu folklore. The display is arranged on steps or tiers and is decorated with flowers and lights. The Golu is set up in homes, temples, and community halls, and people visit these places to view the display and offer prayers.
Significance of Navratri
Navratri is a festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who represents the divine feminine energy that protects the universe. The nine forms of the goddess that are worshipped during Navratri represent different aspects of the goddess, such as courage, wisdom, and strength.
Navratri is also a time for self-reflection and introspection. The fasts that are observed during Navratri are a way of purifying the body and mind. The festival is a reminder to people to let go of negative thoughts and emotions and embrace positivity and goodness.
Legends and Folklore of Navratri
Navratri is a festival that is rich in legends and folklore. The festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, who is revered as the divine feminine energy that protects the universe. There are several stories related to Navratri that are an important part of all the epic tales in Hinduism. Here are some of the most popular and enriching stories related to Navratri:
1) The Battle Between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura
One of the most popular stories related to Navratri is the battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. According to the story, Mahishasura was a demon who had gained the power to change his form and was causing havoc in the universe. The gods were unable to defeat him, and they approached Goddess Durga for help. Goddess Durga battled Mahishasura for nine days and finally defeated him on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Dussehra. The story symbolises the victory of good over evil and is a reminder to people to always fight for what is right.
2) The Legend of Lord Rama and Ravana
Another popular story related to Navratri is the legend of Lord Rama and Ravana. According to the story, Ravana was a powerful demon who had captured Lord Rama's wife, Sita. Lord Rama, along with his brother Lakshmana, went on a mission to rescue Sita. After a long battle, Lord Rama defeated Ravana on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Dussehra. The story symbolises the triumph of good over evil and is a reminder to people to always stand up for what is right.
3) The Legend of Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi is also worshipped during Navratri. According to the legend, Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, was born during the Samudra Manthan, which is the churning of the ocean. The gods and demons were churning the ocean to obtain Amrit, which is the elixir of life. As a result of the churning, several treasures emerged from the ocean, including Goddess Lakshmi. The story symbolises the importance of hard work and perseverance in achieving success and prosperity.
4) The Legend of Goddess Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati is also worshipped during Navratri. According to the legend, Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and learning. She is said to have been born from the mouth of Lord Brahma, who is the creator of the universe. The story symbolises the importance of education and knowledge in one's life.
Written by Puja Paul