Navaratri - Nine Nights - It's Significance

Navaratri - Nine Nights - It's Significance

The word Navaratri means 'nine nights', nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights.

Celebrations include worshipping nine goddesses during nine days, stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, and chanting. The nine days are also a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design a family visit to these pandals, and the public celebration. Hindu devotees often celebrate Navaratri by fasting. On the final day, called Vijayadashami, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as a river or ocean, or the statue symbolising the evil is burnt with fireworks, marking the destruction of evil. During this time preparations also take place for Diwali (the festival of lights) which is celebrated twenty days after Vijayadashami.

The festival is associated to the prominent battle that took place between Durga and the demon Mahishasura to celebrate the victory of good over evil. These nine days are solely dedicated to Durga and her nine avatars.

Day 1 – Shailaputri

Known as Pratipada (first day), this day is associated with Shailaputri. It is in this form that Durga is worshipped as the wife of Shiva; she is depicted as riding the bull, Nandi, with a trishula in her right hand and lotus in her left. The colour of the day is yellow, which depicts action and vigor.

Day 2 – Brahmacharini

On Dwitiya (second day), Goddess Brahmacharini, another incarnation of Parvati, is worshipped. In this form, Parvati became Yogini, her unmarried self. Brahmacharini is worshipped for emancipation or moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity. Depicted as walking bare feet and holding a japamala (rosary) and a kamandala (pot) in her hands, she symbolizes bliss and calm. Green is the colour code of this day. The orange colour which depicts tranquility is sometimes used so that strong energy flows everywhere.

Day 3 – Chandraghanta

Tritiya (third day) commemorates the worship of Chandraghanta – the name derived from the fact that after marrying Shiva, Parvati adorned her forehead with the ardhachandra (lit. half-moon). She is the embodiment of beauty and is also symbolic of bravery. Grey is the colour of the third day, which is a vivacious colour and can cheer up everyone's mood.

Day 4 – Kushmanda

Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on Chaturthi (fourth day). Believed to be the creative power of the universe, Kushmanda is associated with the endowment of vegetation on earth, and hence, the colour of the day is orange. She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Tiger.

Day 5 – Skandamata

Skandamata, the goddess worshipped on Panchami (fifth day), is the mother of Skanda. The white colour is symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is confronted with danger. 

Day 6 – Katyayani

Born to sage Katyayana, she is an incarnation of Durga and is shown to exhibit courage which is symbolized by the colour red. Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered one of the most violent forms of Devi. I

Day 7 – Kaalaratri

Considered the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kaalaratri is revered on Saptami. The colour of the day is royal blue. The Goddess appears in a red-coloured attire or tiger skin with a lot of rage in her fiery eyes, her skin turns dark. The red colour portrays prayer and ensures the devotees that the Goddess will protect them from harm. 

Day 8 – Mahagauri

Mahagauri symbolizes intelligence and peace. The colour associated with this day is pink which depicts optimism. She is celebrated on Ashtami (eighth day). In eastern India, Maha Astami is observed on this day and starting with pushpanjali, kumari puja etc. 

Day 9 – Siddhidatri

On the last day of the festival also known as Navami (ninth day), people pray to Siddhidatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all types of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Also known as Mahalakshmi, The purple colour of the day portrays an admiration towards nature's beauty.


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