Navratri 2020: Date, Puja Timings, Importance and Significance of this festival in India
New Delhi, Oct 16: The season of festivals is upon us. Navratri is one of India's most significant festivals. The auspicious occasion of Navratri will commence this year from October 17 and end on October 26 with Vijay Dashami and Durga visarjan (immersion of the idol). The nine-day long festival is dedicated to the different forms of Maa Durga, who is worshipped by the devotees in 9 avatars.
According to the Drik Panchang, Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin lunar month with ghatasthapana. Kalash, which is installed during ghatasthapana, is immersed in a water body on the tenth day.
The nine nights celebrate and worship the nine forms of Durga. As such, it begins with Shailaputri puja, followed by Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Sidhidatri. Each of these goddesses - through an avatar of the goddess-supreme Durga - have their own powers and personalities.
The Drik Panchang also says that the Ashtami tithi for Sharad Navratri 2020 will begin 6.57 am on October 23 and continue till 6.58 am on October 24.
Significance of Nine days of Navratri
The nine days of Navratri are dedicated to the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. Each day is associated with an incarnation of the goddess.
Day 1 is Shilaputri(daughter of Mountains) and is dedicated to an incarnation of Parvati. She is worshipped as the consort of Shiva and is also considered as a direct incarnation of Mahakali. She rides the bull, holds a lotus flower in her left hand and a Trishula in her right.
Day 2 is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. Brahmacharini is worshipped for the emancipation of Moksha and endowment of peace and prosperity.
Day 3 is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. She has a half-Chandra(half-Moon) on her forehead and is the embodiment of beauty and is also symbolic of bravery.
Day 4 is dedicated to Goddess Kushmanda and is associated with vegetation on earth.
Day 5 is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata and is the mother of Skanda(Kartikeya). She symbolises the strength of a mother in protecting her child.
Day 6 is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani and is considered as Warrier goddess and is the most violent forms of Parvati.
Day 7 is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri. The goddess appears in white with a lot of rage in her eyes but assures her devotees that she will protect and them and they will face no harm.
Day 8 is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri and symbolizes intelligence and peace.
Day 9 is dedicated to Goddess Sidhidatri. She is believed to possess and bestow many Sindhis (powers) to her devotees.
Sharad Navratri coincides with Durga Puja festivity which is a 5-day long festival, widely celebrated across the globe. It is a major festival for Bengali community.