A land of myriad cultures, India is a land of festivals. Amongst the many festivals that are celebrated in India, Navratri holds a prominent place. Navratri is a nine-day long, pious festival that is celebrated all over India. Observers of this auspicious occasion believe that the Sharad Navratri is the most important one.
This year Sharad Navratri 2021 will start from 7th October 2021 (Thursday). It will end with the celebration of Vijayadashami on 15th October 2021 (Friday).
Given below are the important Shardiya Navratri dates and times that you should know about.
7th October 2021- Ghatasthapana (Pratipada)
Ghatasthapana Auspicious Timing - 06:17 AM to 07:07 AM
Ghatasthapana Abhijit Muhurat (Auspicious Timing) - 11:45 AM to 12:32 PM
Pratipada Tithi Begins - 04:34 PM, 6th October 2021
Pratipada Tithi Ends - 01:46 PM, 7th October 2021
8th October 2021 - Dwitiya
9th October 2021 - Tritiya and Chaturthi
10th October 2021 - Panchami
11th October 2021 - Shashti
12th October 2021 - Saptami
13th October 2021 - Ashtami
14th October 2021 - Navami
15th October 2021- Vijayadashami
This year, the third and fourth days (Tritiya and Chaturthi) of Navratri will overlap.
Navratri is a Hindu festival to worship the nine avatars or manifestations of Goddess Durga, also known as Shakti or Devi. This festival is once celebrated during spring as Chaitra Navratri and autumn as Sharad Navratri. Sharad Navratri is observed during the month of Ashwin, which typically falls in September or October. The festival begins on the first day (Pratipada) of the bright lunar fortnight in the month of Ashwin. This Navratri is immensely popular and is considered significant, which is why it is also known as ‘Maha Navratri’.
The word ‘Navratri’ means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit. The term ‘nava’ means ‘nine’, and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’. The nine days are devoted to worship Goddess Durga, wherein different manifestations of the divine Goddess are worshipped every day. Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who the devotees believe is an epitome of Shakti or the cosmic energy. This is why Goddess Durga is worshipped with utmost reverence as the deity of wisdom and power during this period.
The festival of Navratri can be seen as a symbolic celebration of the battle of good and evil, wherein the good triumphs over the evil on the tenth day. We celebrate this day as Dussehra.
During the festival of Navratri, for nine nights, devotees observe this auspicious festival with utmost reverence, devotion, and prayers. Devotees celebrate Navratri in their homes or the temples. In this auspicious festival, the nine different manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Each day is dedicated to one avatar or manifestation of the divine Goddess Durga. Each form of Goddess Durga is known to symbolise and exemplify a distinctive virtue. Devotees believe that every manifestation of Goddess Durga is believed to grant abundance and spiritual fulfilment.
Here is the list of the manifestations of Goddess Durga that are to be worshipped as per Navratri 2021.
7th October 2021 (Pratipada)- Worshipping of Goddess Shailputri
8th October 2021 (Dwitiya)- Worshipping of Goddess Brahmacharini
10th October 2021 (Panchami)- Worshipping of Goddess Skandamata
11th October 2021 (Shashti)- Worshipping of Goddess Katyayani
12th October 2021 (Saptami)-Worshipping of Goddess Kalratri
13th October 2021 (Ashtami)- Worshipping of Goddess Maha Gauri
14th October 2021 (Navami)- Worshipping of Goddess Siddhidatri
Last Day - Vijayadashami
This year Vijayadashami, Dussehra, and the end of the Navratri will be on the same day, i.e., 15th October 2021.
As mentioned earlier, during Navratri, the nine forms of Goddess Durga or Goddess Shakti are worshipped on nine different days. Each day a specific Prasad is offered to Navadurga to please her and to get her blessings.
On the first day of Navratri, Ghatasthapana, also known as Kalash Sthapana, is performed. It is one of the most crucial rituals performed by the devotees. Ghatasthapana is done as an invocation of the divine Goddess Shakti. In this ritual, a Kalash or pot or urn is filled with holy water and placed for doing Puja.
Devotees also light the Akhand Jyoti dedicated to Goddess Durga on the first day. This keeps burning throughout the nine days of Navratri.
During this festival, the devotees observe fasts, and prayers are offered to the Goddess for nine days. During this period, devotees avoid meat, alcohol, onions, and regular grains like rice and wheat are not included in the food. Special Navratri food that could be eaten during this period is prepared for the devotees who observe fast, especially in North India.
On the eighth day and ninth day, the ‘Kanya Pujan’ ritual is also done. On this day, nine young girls, representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga, are called home. The devotee pays obeisance to the young girls and serves them food.
In some parts of India, especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat, women adorn themselves with nine different colours each day of Navratri to delight Goddess Durga and seek her blessings. Every day is ruled by one of the planets or the Navgrahas, and based on this, the colours are allocated for each day. The colours for each day are-
Day 1- Yellow
Day 2 - Green
Day 3 - Grey
Day 4 - Orange
Day 5 - White
Day 6 - Red
Day 7 - Royal Blue
Day 8 - Pink
Day 9 - Purple
Besides this, chanting of mantras, recitals of shlokas, bhajans, and songs are also part of the Navratri rituals.
Shardiya Navratri is celebrated and widely commemorated throughout India with enthusiasm and zeal, especially in Gujarat and the Northern and Eastern parts of India. During this festival, devotees pray with complete devotion and offer Prasad to Goddess Durga. Fasting, praying, feasting, and celebrating with dance and music become the daily routine for the devotees during the nine days of Navratri.
In Eastern parts of India, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja. Undoubtedly, it is the biggest festival. Grand pandals are decorated and illuminated with lights. People wear new clothes and go out to visit the pandals. Various cultural activities are also organised during this time. Durga Puja then ends with Vijayadashami. Navratri is also a big deal in Gujarat. In Gujarat, people celebrate the festival by doing the Garba and Dandiya Raas. People wear traditional clothes and dance to music with Dandiya sticks in hand. In Kerala, Ayudha Puja is celebrated on the ninth day of Navratri. This Puja is done to worship tools and instruments.
Devotees celebrate this festival with complete devotion, which is why Navratri is regarded as an important festival.
If you want to learn more about Sharad Navratri 2021 and its rituals, or you have any astrology-related queries, get in touch with Astroyogi astrologers right away!