One of the Hinduism’s most religious and pious period of the lunar calendar Vasanta Navratri began today. For the next 9 days, north India will be swept by the wind of festivities, rituals, and traditions to celebrate these 9 days that is dedicated to Maa Durga and her 9 incarnations (avatars). This Navratri also marks the beginning of Hindu New Year as per Vikrami Samvat, the Hindu calendar that started on 57 BC. Vasanta Navratri has a very interesting story attached to it that involves ancestors of Sri Rama and Lakshmana.
Why We Celebrate:
Every devout Hindu must celebrate Vasanta Navratri for spiritual as well as material welfare and also follow the noble path of righteousness set by Sri Rama and his ancestor King Sudarsana. By worshipping, praying, and meditating during this 9 days, devotees can obtain the holy blessing of Maa Durga.
9 Days, 9 Incarnations, 9 Colours, 9 Pujans:
The 9 days of Navratri is dedicated to 9 avatars of Maa Durga and each day has a specific colour and pujan attached to it. Devotees are supposed to wear these 9 colours on each day and perform these pujans.
Day 1: Shailaputri Maa: Red: Shailputri Pujan
Also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati, she is an embodiment of Brahma, Shiv, and Vishnu’s powers. The colour of this day signifies action and vigour.
Day 2: Bharmacharini: Royal Green: Bharmacharini Pujan
Bharmacharini practices devout austerity and signifies bliss, happiness, grace, prosperity, and peace. She is considered to be the path for Moksha. The colour of this day signifies calm yet powerful energy.
Day 3: Chandraghanta: Yellow: Chandraghanta Pujan
Worshippers of Chandraghanta obtain peace, prosperity, and tranquillity in their life. The colour Yellow of this day represents beauty and grace.
Day 4: Kushmanda: Green: Bhouma Chaturthi
Creator of the Universe, it is believed that she created the Universe laughter and made it suitable for vegetation. Therefore, the colour of this day is Green.
Day 5: Skandamata: Grey: Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalitha Gauri Vrat, Skandamata Pujan
Mother of Lord Karthikeya, the chosen Commander of Chief of the Gods against the demons, she represents motherhood and its immense powers. Grey is the colour of this day that represents the vulnerability of mothers who can do anything to protect their child.
Day 6: Katyayani: Orange: Saraswati Awahan, Katyayani Pujan
Born to Kata, a sage, she represents courage and the colour of this day also signifies the same.
Day 7: Kaalratri: White: Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Pujan, Utsava Puja
Considered to be the fiercest incarnation of Maa Durga, she is known for protecting her devotees and this is signified by the colour of this day.
Day 8: Maha Gauri: Pink: Saraswati Mata Pujan, Mahagauri Pujan, Sandhi Puja
Peace, intelligence, and calmness; Maha Gauri can wash away sins of the devotees. Pink signifies hope and a new start.
Day 9: Siddhidatri: Sky Blue: Ayudha Puja, Kanya puja
Known as the bearer of supernatural healing powers, Siddhidatri signifies bliss and happiness. Sky blue represents beauty and serenity of nature.
Food Rules To Follow During Navratri:
Devotees are supposed to observe fast during these 9 days of Navratri. Those who can not observe the fast for 9 days due to various reasons can keep it for 2 days. During this period, devotees are not supposed to eat everyday grains including wheat and rice, and avoid regular table salt.
Here is the list of food to eat while fasting during Navratri:
# Fried Or Boiled Potatoes
# Kuttu Atta And Sea Salt preparations
# Aloo Tikki
# Makhane Ki Sabzi
# Banan Chips
# Fruits and Juice
# Sabudana Kheer
For the Hindus, these 9 days signifies a period of purity and devotion. The traditions and customs truly represent the goodness of peaceful healthy living that we all aspire for. So, happy Navratri to all, may Goddess Durga be kind to you.