Navratri is a multi-day festival celebrated in honour of Goddess Durga, most powerful feminine power. It is about celebrating the manifestation of Goddess Durga in nine different avatars. Each day is dedicated to the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga
This year the traditional Hindu festival of Navratri will commence from September 21, Thursday and will end on September 29, Friday. During this festival on nine auspicious nights, people celebrate by observing a fast, hold dandiya nights and Garba. A unique aspect of the worship is to dress the idol in a different colour on each day.
In recent years, it has become fun to dress up in a colour corresponding to the colour of the Devi’s garments. Though, it is believed that each colour represents a particular guna (characteristic or quality) of the Devi.
Here’s a look at nine different colours to be worn on each day of Navratri 2017 festival.
The first manifestation of Durga is Goddess Shailputri. Also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati, or Hemavati, she is the daughter of Hemavana, the king of the Himalayas. She is considered to be the purest embodiment of Durga and the mother of nature and is said to destroy all the sins of time. Devotees offer pure desi ghee on the foot of Shailputri. An offering of pure ghee is said to bless the devotee with a life free of diseases and illness.
On the second day of Navaratri, Goddess Bharmachaarini, whose name means ‘one who practices devout austerity’ is worshiped. She is depicted as a monastic goddess in Hindu scriptures as she enlightens us in the magnificent embodiment of Durga with great powers and divine grace. She endows happiness, peace, prosperity, and grace upon all devotees who worship her. She is the way to emancipation, called Moksha. Goddess Brahmacharini is a lover of simple food and offerings. Devotees serve a bhog of sugar and fruits to Goddess Brahmacharini.
Chandraghanta is the third manifestation of Durga, representing peace, tranquility, and prosperity in life. Her name is derived from the chandra (half moon) in her forehead in the shape of a ghanta (bell). It is believed that the sound of the moon-bell on her forehead drives all types of spirits away from Her devotees. The ferocious Goddess is pleased by offering milk, sweets or kheer.
Kushmanda is the fourth form of the mother goddess, who brought light to the dark cosmos. She created the universe in the flash of Her smile and is believed to bestow siddhis (supernatural powers) and niddhis (wealth) to Her devotees. Devotees worship the Goddess by observing fasts and offering Malpua as bhog.
Skanda Mata is the mother of Skanda or Lord Kartikeya, who was chosen by gods as their commander-in-chief in the war against the demons. Devotees who worship this form of the Mother Goddess get the added benefit of blessings of Lord Skanda, A bhog of bananas is offered to the goddess and it is said to keep the devotees in good health.
Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navaratri. Born in a fit of divine rage and anger, dressed in orange, she emits a radiant light from her body from which darkness and evil cannot hide. Despite her appearance, it is believed that she can bestow a sense of calm and inner peace upon all who worship her. Devotees offer honey as prasad to Goddess Katyayani. Her blessings fill their lives with sweetness and help them get rid of bitter troubles.
Goddess Kaalratri is worshiped on the seventh day of Navratri. Dressed in white, she has anger in her eyes and is as black as the night. She breathes fierce flames of fire, and lustrous rays emanate from her. Fierce on the outside, Kaalratri bestows her true devotees protection from evil-powers and spirits. Devotees offer jaggery or sweets made with jaggery.
Maha Gauri which means “extremely white,” refers to her luminous beauty, which radiates from her body. It is believed that by paying homage to Maha Gauri, all past, present, and future sins will be washed away, imparting a deep sense of inner peace. Goddess Mahagauri is offered coconut as bhog by devotees. It is widely believed that donating coconuts to the Brahmans on Ashtami, blesses a childless couple with a child.
Siddhidatri is the final form of Durga, celebrated on the final night of Navaratri. She bestows blessings upon all deities and devotees of the faith. Siddhidatri grants wisdom and insight to those who appeal to her. Devotees observe a fast and offer til or sesame seeds as bhog. This is believed to protect the devotee and his family from unfortunate mishaps.
So now that you know the nine day colors for Navratri, enjoy dressing up this Navratri in the nine colors embodying the wonderful spirit of a woman!
We wish all the devotees of Maa Durga, a very Happy Navratri 2017.