Navratri Calendar 2023: When does Sharadiya Navratri start?
After completing Pitru Paksha, Sharadiya Navratri, the most awaited festival time will begin. During these nine days, devotees worship Maa Durga for 9 consecutive days with great devotion and dedication. One of the most famous festival which Durga Puja and Dussehra will be celebrated with great pomp and show. These propitious days mark the victory of good over evil.
After this, Valmiki Jayanti, Meera Jayanti and Papankusha Ekadashi are falling on the same and the month will end with one of the most famous and tradition festival Atla Tadde, which is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh.
In 2023, the colourful and spiritually significant Hindu holiday of Navratri will soon be here. Hindus all across the world and in India commemorate this event with great fervour. The terms "nav" (which means nine) and "ratri" (which means night) are combined to form the term "navratri." It lasts for 10 days and nine nights, with each day honouring a different aspect of the Divine Feminine. The festival of Navratri will start on October 15 and end on October 23 in 2023. Let's examine the significance, customs, and geographical differences connected with this important holiday as we delve into the specifics of the Navratri Calendar 2023.
The Significance of Navratri
The festival of Navratri honours the goddess Durga, who stands for the power of the heavenly feminine. In Hinduism, this holiday has great spiritual and cultural significance. It is believed that the goddess visits Earth over these nine nights to slay evil and bestow blessings on her followers. During Navratri, a certain aspect of the Goddess is honoured each day, and her many incarnations are worshipped with great devotion.
Navratri Calendar 2023
Day 1 - October 15, 2023: Pratipada
Navratri begins with the first day, known as Pratipada. On this day, the Goddess is worshipped as Shailaputri, the daughter of the Himalayas. Devotees offer prayers and perform rituals to seek blessings for a successful life and a fresh start.
Day 2 - October 16, 2023: Dwitiya
The second day, Dwitiya, is dedicated to Brahmacharini, the unmarried form of the Goddess. This form symbolizes austerity and devotion. It is believed that worshipping Brahmacharini helps to attain spiritual strength and knowledge.
Day 3 - October 17, 2023: Tritiya
Tritiya is devoted to the goddess Chandraghanta, who wears a crescent moon as a headpiece. Her adherents are said to receive serenity from her and protection from evil spirits.
Day 4 - October 18, 2023: Chaturthi
On Chaturthi, the Goddess is worshipped as Kushmanda, the creator of the universe. Devotees pray for strength, prosperity, and vitality on this day.
Day 5 - October 19, 2023: Panchami
Panchami is dedicated to Skandamata, the mother of Kartikeya, also known as Skanda. She is the symbol of motherly love and protection. This day is significant for mothers and children alike.
Day 6 - October 20, 2023: Shashthi
The sixth day, Shashthi, celebrates the Goddess Katyayani, born to sage Katya. She is considered the warrior form of the Goddess and is worshipped for courage and strength.
Day 7 - October 21, 2023: Saptami
The goddess Kalratri, who is merciful to her followers yet violent and destructive to bad powers, is the focus of Saptami. Today represents the victory of good over evil.
Day 8 - October 22, 2023: Ashtami
Ashtami is one of the most significant days of Navratri and is devoted to Maha Gauri, the pure and serene form of the Goddess. Devotees pray for purity of heart and soul.
Day 9 - October 23, 2023: Navami
The Goddess is revered as Siddhidatri, the giver of mystical abilities, on Navami. This day stands for both spiritual development and the satisfaction of wants.
Day 10 - October 24, 2023: Dashami
Navratri concludes on the tenth day, Dashami. Devotees bid farewell to the Goddess by immersing her idols in water, symbolizing her return to the heavens.
While Navratri is celebrated with great fervor across India, it is observed in diverse ways in different regions. Here are a few regional variations:
The Garba and Dandiya Raas dances are widely associated with Navratri in Gujarat. The state comes alive with music, dance, and brilliant decorations as people dress in vibrant traditional garb.
In West Bengal, Navratri coincides with Durga Puja, a grand festival where elaborately crafted idols of the Goddess Durga are worshipped. The festival is celebrated with processions, cultural events, and artistic displays.
In Maharashtra, Navratri is marked by the tradition of wearing nine different colors of clothing on each day, with each color representing one form of the Goddess.
In the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Navratri is celebrated as Kullu Dussehra with grand processions and cultural performances.
With the display of dolls and figurines, known as Golu in Tamil Nadu and Bommai Kolu in Karnataka, the southern states mark Navratri. Additionally, Saraswati worship is practised throughout this period.
Rituals and Traditions:
During Navratri, devotees engage in several rituals and traditions:
Fasting: During Navratri, many people fast and avoid particular meals. Some people even observe a full nine-day fast.
Kanya Pujan: On Ashtami, young girls are invited to homes and are considered embodiments of the Goddess. They are worshipped, and their feet are washed as a gesture of respect.
Ramlila: In some locales, Ramlila performances—acting out scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana—mark the nine days of Navratri.
Durga Visarjan: On the final day of Navratri, idols of the Goddess are immersed in water bodies, symbolizing her return to her heavenly abode.
A celebration of faith, culture, and the unwavering power of good over evil, Navratri is more than just a holiday. The Navratri Calendar 2023 serves as a reminder of the heavenly power that uplifts and sustains people. It's an occasion for introspection, devotion, and honouring the Divine Feminine in all of her manifestations. Navratri has something to offer everyone, whether you take part in the lavish celebrations of Gujarat or see the artistic magnificence of West Bengal's Durga Puja. Let's indulge ourselves in the vivid hues, enchanting melodies, and profound spirituality that this festival brings into our lives as the 2023 Navratri season draws near.