Navratri 2023: Navratri is one of the most auspicious and celebrated festivals in India. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine forms, who represent different aspects of feminine power. Navratri literally means “nine nights,” and it is observed twice a year: once in spring (Chaitra Navratri) and once in autumn (Sharad Navratri). In this blog post, we will focus on Chaitra Navratri 2023, which will begin on March 22 and end on March 30.
Chaitra Navratri 2023: Date and Time
Chaitra Navratri happens in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Chaitra, which is March or April in the Gregorian calendar. It starts on the first day of the Hindu new year and ends on the ninth day, which coincides with Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama. Each day of Chaitra Navratri has a different significance and is dedicated to one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Here are the dates and names of each day for Chaitra Navratri 2023:
- March 22, Day 1: Maa Shailputri Puja (Pratipada)
- March 23, Day 2: Maa Brahmacharini Puja (Dwitiya)
- March 24: Day 3: Maa Chandraghanta Puja (Tritiya)
- March 25: Day 4: Maa Kushmanda Puja (Chaturthi)
- March 26: Day 5: Skandamata Puja (Panchami)
- March 27: Day 6: Maa Katyayani Puja (Shasthi)
- March 28: Day 7: Maa Kalaratri Puja (Saptami)
- March 29: Day 8: Maa Mahagauri Puja (Ashtami)
- March 30: Day 9: Ram Navami, Goddess Siddhidhatri Puja (Navami)
The auspicious time for Ghatasthapana, which is the ritual of installing a pot filled with water, soil, and grains as a symbol of Goddess Durga, is from 6:23 a.m. to 7:32 a.m. on March 22, according to the Drik Panchang.
Chaitra Navratri: History and Significance
Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasant or Basant Navratri because it marks the arrival of the spring season. It is believed that Goddess Durga was created by Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva together to defeat the demon king Mahishasura, who had terrorised heaven and earth. She fought with him for nine days and nights and finally killed him on the tenth day. Hence, Chaitra Navratri symbolises the victory of good over evil and celebrates the power of Goddess Durga.
Lord Rama was born on Ram Navami, which is the ninth day of the Chaitra Navratri festival. He was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who came to earth to restore dharma by killing Ravana, another demon king who had taken Sita. Hence, Chaitra Navratri also honours Lord Rama as an ideal king who upheld righteousness.
Chaitra Navratri Celebrations
During Chaitra Navratri, devotees worship Goddess Durga and her nine forms by offering prayers, fasting, performing rituals, and singing devotional songs. They also decorate their homes with flowers, lights, and rangoli designs. They wear colourful clothes and jewellery that match with each day’s colour theme. They visit temples or set up altars at home where they place idols or pictures of Goddess Durga along with other deities like Ganesha, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
Some devotees fast for all nine days or just on certain days, depending on what they prefer. They abstain from eating non-vegetarian food, alcohol,
onion and garlic during this period. They eat only fruits or special dishes made from sago pearls (sabudana), buckwheat flour (kuttu), and water chestnut.