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Celebrate Navratri festival or Durga Puja from 1st October to 10th October, 2016

Navratri is the nine-day festival dedicated to Devi Durga by Hindus all over India. The nine days represent the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga. Navratri comes from the Sanskrit word “nava” denoting nine and “ratri” which is night. During this festival of nine nights, the nine forms of Shakti (also known as Navdurga) are worshipped across the country.

This year Shardiya Navratri, also known as Maha Navratri begins on October 1 and concludes on October 10.

The ancient Brihat Dharma Purana recounts the story of how the ten forms of Devi (Dus Mahavidyas) first originated. According to this tale, Sati the daughter of the powerful Daksha, had married Shiva against her father’s wish. In order to spite his son-in-law, Daksha organised a Yajna (fire sacrifice) to which he invited every God and Goddess except Lord Shiva.

Sati heard about her father’s yajna from Narad Muni and asked Shiva’s permission to attend. Shiva, seeing through Daksha’s insult, bade her not to go. Sati became so furious that her body turned black and assumed the form of Goddess Kali. To prove to Shiva her real Self, Sati assumed other forms of the Divine Mother. The world shook under the weight of her anger and Shiva tried to flee, but wherever he went, the ten forms of Divine Mother stopped him in every direction. These ten forms are called Das Mahavaidyas.

Navratri festival is the most auspicious time for worshipping these forms of Goddess Durga. The tenth day of this festival is called Vijayadashami or Dussehra (Dasara) when the idols of Durga are immersed in water.Although Navratri festival is celebrated all over India, festivities reach their peak in Gujarat, Maharashtra and southern parts of Karnataka, where people celebrate Sharad Navratri with the Garba dance. In West Bengal, the last four days of Sharad Navratri are celebrated as Durga Puja. It is believed that Durga, the divine mother, had destroyed the evil forces of the demon Mahisashura during this time.

Celebrated at the start of the autumn season, Shardiya Navratri is the most important Navratri and is called Maha Navratri or Great Navratri. It generally falls on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwin.The nine manifestations of Goddess Durga worshipped on these nine days are: Shailputri, Brahmcharni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.


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Navratri Durga Puja Vidhi and Puja Samagri

Puja Samagri which is used for Navratri Puja includes:
• Photo or Idol of Goddess Durga of Navdurga • A clay pot with soil • Barley seeds • Kalash • Coconut
• Red cloth • Five Leaves from Mango tree • Flower garland • 10 Coins • Chowki
• Sacred Thread (Moli) •  Akshat (raw colored rice) • Incense • Chunri • Oil Lamp
• Naivedya • Roli for Tilak • Puja Plate • Bell • Flour
• Durga Saptshati book • Ganga Jal • Supari (Areca nuts) • Paan (Betel leaves) • Cloves
• Cardamom • Kumkum (vermilion) • Gulal    

The Navratri puja is to be conducted at a particular time each day. Sunrise is considered to be the best time for performing the puja. Sthapana of the idol and the Kalash with mango leaves and coconut are done on the chowki during the very first day. It is also a ritual to sow barley seeds in a clay pot and water it. Prayers are offered to Maa Durga and an Aarti is conducted. During each day of Navratri the devotees must recite the Durga Saptshati. Kanya puja is performed on the ninth day of Navratri. Kanya Puja is the tradition where 9 girls (who haven’t reached sexual maturity) represented as the nine manifestations of Maa Durga are revered and fed.

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Important Dates for Navratri Durga Puja Festival 2016

Navratri begins on the 1st of October in 2016. The important dates, the pujas to be performed and the colors to be worn on specific days are as given below.

1st Day of Navratri : Ghatasthapana / Pratipada (1st October, 2016) : Goddess Shailaputri Maa 1stDay of Navratri : Pratipada (2nd October, 2016) : Goddess Shailaputri Maa
Shailputri Mata Tithi - Pratipada Shailputri Mata Tithi - Pratipada
Ritual - Ghatsthapana, Chandra Darshan Ritual - Ghatsthapana, Chandra Darshan
Goddess Worshipped - Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain) Goddess Worshipped - Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountain)
Offerings to the Goddess - Ghee Offerings to the Goddess - Ghee
Color to be Worn on the Day - Grey Color to be Worn on the Day - Orange
Shailaputri Maha Puja Shailaputri Maha Puja
2nd Day of Navratri : Dwitiya (3rd October, 2016) - White : Goddess Bharmacharini Maa 3rd Day of Navratri : Tritiya (4th October, 2016) – Red:  Goddess Chandraghanta Maa
Brahmacharini Mata Tithi - Dwitiya Chandraghanta Mata Tithi - Tritiya
Ritual - Ritual - Sindoor Tritiya
Goddess Worshipped - Brahmacharini Goddess Worshipped - Chandraghanta
Offerings to the Goddess - Sugar Offerings to the Goddess - Milk
Color to be Worn on the Day - White Color to be Worn on the Day - Red
Brahmacharini Maha Puja Chandraghanta Maha Puja
4th Day of Navratri : Chaturthi (5th October, 2016) – Blue: Goddess Kushmanda Maa 5th Day of Navratri : Panchami (6th October, 2016) – Yellow: Goddess Skandamata Maa
Kushmanda Mata Tithi - Chaturthi Skandamata Mata Tithi - Panchami
Ritual - Varad Vinayaka Chauth, Upang Lalita Vrat Ritual - Saraswati Awahan
Goddess Worshipped - Kushmanda Goddess Worshipped - Skandamata
Offerings to the Goddess - Malpua Offerings to the Goddess - Bananas
Color to be Worn on the Day - Royal Blue Color to be Worn on the Day - Yellow
Kushmanda Maha Puja Skandamata Maha Puja
6th Day of Navratri : Shashti (7th October, 2016) – Green: Goddess Katyayani Maa 7th Day of Navratri : Saptami – (8th October, 2016) – Peacock Green: Goddess Kaalratri Maa
Katyayani Mata Tithi - Shashthi Kaalratri Mata Tithi - Saptami
Ritual - Ritual -
Goddess Worshipped - Katyayani Goddess Worshipped - Kaalratri
Offerings to the Goddess - Honey Offerings to the Goddess - Jaggery Dishes
Color to be Worn on the Day - Green Color to be Worn on the Day - Peacock Green
Katyayini Maha Puja Kaalratri Maha Puja
8th Day of Navratri : Ashtami (9th October, 2016) – Purple: Goddess Maha Gauri Maa 9th Day of Navratri : Navami / (10th October, 2016) – Sky Blue : Goddess Siddhidatri Maa
Mahagauri Mata Tithi - Ashtami Siddhidaatri Mata Tithi - Navami
Ritual - Mahagauri Puja, Durga Maha Ashtami Puja, Saraswati Puja Ritual - Maha Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa
Goddess Worshipped - Mahagauri Goddess Worshipped - Siddhidaatri
Offerings to the Goddess - Coconut Offerings to the Goddess - Grains
Color to be Worn on the Day - Purple  Color to be Worn on the Day - Sky Blue
Mahagauri Maha Puja Siddhidatri Maha Puja
10th Day : Dashmi Dussehra (11th October, 2016) Pink  
Mahagauri Mata Tithi - Dashmi
Ritual - Navratri Parana, Durga Visarjan, Vijyadashmi (Dussehra)
Color to be Worn on the Day - Pink
Vijaya Dashami Dussehra Puja
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