As Shardiya Navratri approaches, let’s examine the festival calendar and delve into the significance of each day, dedicated to one of the nine forms of Maa Durga. The auspicious festival of Shardiya Navratri is just around the corner, and Maa Durga’s devotees are gearing up to mark the nine-day-long festivities with pomp. Throughout the year, Hindus celebrate four Navratris. However, large-scale celebrations happen during two Navratris – Chaitra Navratri and Shardiya Navratri. The upcoming Navratri, known as Shardiya Navratri, will span from the Pratipada to the Navami tithi of Ashwin Shukla Paksha. During this time, devotees worship Maa Durga and her nine avatars – the Navadurgas. Since the festival spans nine days, it is necessary to know the correct dates and the Goddess associated with each day. Scroll through to find out the Shardiya Navratri calendar – the dates of the auspicious nine-day celebrations.
Shardiya Navratri 2023 Date:
October 15 – Ghatasthapana (Invocation of Goddess Shakti), Shailputri Puja The Navratri festivities kick off with Ghatasthapana, the invocation of Goddess Shakti, and the worship of Shailputri, the first manifestation of Maa Durga.
October 16 – Brahmacharini Puja (Maa Brahmacharini) On this day, devotees pay homage to Maa Brahmacharini, the Goddess symbolizing austerity and devotion.
October 17 – Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja (Maa Chandraghanta) observe Sindoor Tritiya and then worship Maa Chandraghanta, who embodies strength and grace.
October 18 – Kushmanda Puja (Maa Kushmanda), Vinayak Chaturthi Devotees offer prayers to Maa Kushmanda, the creator of the universe, and celebrate Vinayak Chaturthi.
October 19 – Skandamata Puja (Maa Skandamata) The day is dedicated to Maa Skandamata, the mother of Lord Skanda (Kartikeya).
October 20 – Katyayani Puja (Maa Katyayani) Maa Katyayani, Durga’s fierce and brave form, is worshipped with devotion.
October 21 – Saraswati Puja, Kalratri Puja (Saptami) (Maa Kalratri) Saraswati Puja, dedicated to the Goddess of knowledge, along with the worship of Maa Kalratri, who symbolizes fearlessness.
October 22 – Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja (Maa Mahagauri), and Sandhi Puja Durga Ashtami are celebrated with reverence, including the worship of Maa Mahagauri. Sandhi Puja, a significant ritual, is performed during this time.
October 23 – Maha Navami On the penultimate day of Navratri, Maha Navami, devotees mark it with special prayers and devotion.
After the nine-day celebrations, Navratri culminates with Durga Visarjan and the festival of Vijayadashami or Dussehra. On this day, devotees bid farewell to Maa Durga by immersing her idols in water bodies, with hopes for her return next year. It also commemorates Lord Rama’s triumph over Ravana and Maa Durga’s victory over Mahishasura.
October 24 – Navratri Parana (Breaking the Fast), Durga Visarjan, and Vijayadashami On this day, devotees break their nine-day fast with Navratri Parana. Additionally, they immerse the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies and celebrate the victory of Vijayadashami or Dussehra.
Significance of Navratri:
Shardiya Navratri holds immense significance in Hindu culture and traditions. It is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection for devotees. Here are some key aspects of its significance:
- Victory of Good over Evil: Shardiya Navratri culminates with the celebration of Vijayadashami or Dussehra, which marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and righteousness over unrighteousness.
- Spiritual Cleansing: Many people observe fasts and undertake spiritual practices during Navratri to cleanse their minds and bodies. Many believe that fasting and meditation during this period purify the soul and bring spiritual enlightenment.
- Cultural Celebrations: Navratri is a religious festival and a cultural extravaganza. It involves vibrant dance forms like Garba and Dandiya Raas, where people come together to celebrate and showcase their traditional attire.
- Family Bonding: Navratri brings families and communities together. People gather for prayers, participate in cultural events, and exchange festive greetings, strengthening the bonds of kinship and friendship.
- Offering Devotion to Maa Durga: Devotees offer prayers, perform aarti (ritual worship), and create elaborate pandals (temporary temples) to honor Maa Durga during Navratri. It is a time of deep devotion and surrender to the Goddess.