Navaratri is on its way. Navaratri, a major Hindu festival after Holi will be observed from 13th April to 22nd April in India. The consequent nine days are very important for Hindus and each day carries its significance. The Chaitra Navratri comes during the spring season which is from March to April. Each year Navaratri is celebrated with joy throughout India. different regions celebrate Navaratri with different joyful rituals. Nine different incarnations of goddess Durga are goddess Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalaratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidatri are worshipped on respective days by doing fasting. the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri is celebrated as Rama Navami in northern parts of India as the day when Lord Rama was born.
According to Hindu Calendar, Chaitra Navaratri also marks the first day of the year. and is celebrated with different names in different regions for example Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh. the Navaratri celebration starts with Kalash Sathapana puja in which Kalash is kept in the temple at a suitable place and marks the beginning of the celebration of the Navaratri.
Each day is dedicated to the nine incarnations of goddess Durga
1st day- goddess ShailPutri, the first incarnation of goddess Durga. Shail Putri in her deities is shown holding a lotus in her left-hand and Trishul in right. and shown riding on a bull, Nandi. Goddess Parvati was born as the daughter of Himalaya and in Sanskrit, Shail means the mountain, thus she is known as Shailputri. Goddess Shailputri is offered ghee by devotees by pouring it on her feet. it is believed to be helpful to get disease-free life.
2nd day- goddess Brahmacharini Goddess Bramhacharini symbolizes the deep meditative state of goddess Parvati where she is holding rudraksha in her hand and walks bare feet. in this avatar, She is observed deeply meditating to please lord shiva. sugar is offered to the goddess for well being of family members.
3rd day- Goddess Chandraghanta an incarnation of goddess Parvati who is fierce and carries a crescent moon on her forehead which gives her the name Chandraghanta. She rides on a tiger to destroy all evil and wicked. kheer is what one should offer to drive away all the pains from my life.
4th day- Devi Kushmanda. the name depicts the creation of the universe. 'Ku' stands for little, 'Ushma' stands for warmth or energy, 'Amnda' stands for the egg. Malpua is made during the day to serve as an offering to the goddess Kushmanda to increase intellect and leadership quality.
5th day-Goddess Skandmata, also known as Panchami as her day is 5th in the series of Navaratri. Skanda Mata carries a lotus in two of her hands with sacred Kamandalu and bells in the other two hands. little Kartikay is called Skanda as he is seen seated on the laps of the goddess. bananas are offered to the goddess as it is her favorite.
6th day-goddess Katyayani also known as shakti. this form of Parvati is known to be the most violent form of Parvati. she is seen as a warrior as she carries a sword in her hands and rides on a tiger. honey is offered to please goddess Katyayani.
7th day-Goddess Kaalratri. who carries the whole universe in her third eye which is on her forehead. she gave up her fair complexion and accepted dark complexion to kill the demons. she carries a sword in her hand and rides on her donkey. to get relief from pain and sufferings and bring happiness it is advised to offer jaggery to goddess Kaalratri.
8th day-goddess Mahagauri has four arms and her ride is a bull or a white elephant. Trishul and Damru are her hand accessories. coconut is served as an offering to the goddess Mahagauri.
9th day- Goddess Siddhidatri depicting perfection goddess deity has four arms in which she carries a book, mace, and lotus. s she is projected seated on the lotus. she is offered sesame seeds to ensure safety and security in life and to this day Navaratri departs.