While entire India especially Maharashtra and Southern India is ready to celebrate Gudi Padwa and Ugadi, the Northern states of India is all set to welcome the nine days of spiritual and religious celebration with Chaitra Navratri
Chaitra Navratri 2017 begins on 1st day of Lunar calendar that is 28th March 2017. It is the same day when Karnataka celebrate Ugadi and Maharashtra celebrates Gudi Padwa. Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasanta Navratri (owing to the commemorating of spring season/vasant ritu). The last day of Navratri is celebrated as Rama Navami (also dedicated to the birth of Lord Rama).
During the nine days of Vasanta Navratri, the nine forms of Goddess Durga is celebrated. Before the festival begins, the Hindu households are cleaned and an idol or picture of Goddess Durga is set up. For the next 9 days, lots of people keep fasting and perform puja to the nine forms of Goddess Durga.
The following forms of Goddess Durga is celebrated over the Chaitra Navratri on successive days:
Pratipada (1st Day): Goddess Shilputri
Dwitiya (2nd Day): Goddess Brahmacharni
Tritiya (3rd Day): Goddess Chandraghanta
Chaturti (4th Day): Goddess Kushmanda
Panchami (5th Day): Goddess Skandamata
Sashti (6th Day): Goddess Katyayani
Saptami (7th Day): Goddess Kalaratri
Ashtami (8th Day): Goddess Mahagauri
Navami (9th Day): Goddess Siddhidatri
On the last day of the Navratri, devotees break their fast by offering food and gifts to young girls. Young girls are believed to be form of Goddess Durga and are worshipped by washing their feet and applying tilak. It is on the same day, Ram Navami is also celebrated.
Navratri is not only celebration of culture and spirituality but the 9 days of fasting is believed to bring many health benefits as well. While it helps in increasing self-control, detoxifing your body, it is also said to have power to remove afflictions and fears. The Navratri vrat cleanses your system and prepares your body to face the summer season
I can’t wait for the festivities to begin! Happy Navratri