Chaitra Navratri festival / Navratri puja - from 11th April to 20th April
Chaitra Navratri, also known as Chait Navratras, as the name indicates is observed during the Chaitra month (March – April) in a traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Chaitra Navaratri 2013 begins on April 11 and ends on April 20. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Shakti and three of her most popular forms– Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati – are worshipped during the period. It begins on the first day of the Chaitra month and ends with Ram Navami.
|First Day (11th April) - The first day is dedicated to the Goddess Durga is called Shailputri, the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the companion of Lord Shiva.
Second Day (12th April) - The second day is dedicated to the Goddess Durga is known as 'Brahmacharini'. The name is derivative of the word 'Brahma', which means 'Tapa' or penace. She is also a form of Mata Shakti.
Third Day (13th April) - The third day is dedicated to the goddess Chandraghanta, the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery.
Fourth Day (14th April) - The fourth day is dedicated to the goddess Kushmandas, the creator of the entire Universe.
Fifth Day (15th April) - The fifth day is dedicated to the Goddess Skand Mata, the mother of the chief warrior of the Gods army the Skanda.
Sixth Day (16th April) - The sixth day is dedicated to the goddess Katyayani with three eyes and four hands.
Seventh Day (17th April) - The seventh day is dedicated to the Goddess 'Kalratri', meant to make the devotees fearless.
Eighth Day (18th April) -The eight day is dedicated to the Mata Rani or 'Maha Gauri', represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.
Ninth Day (19/20th April) - The ninth day is dedicated to Durga also referred as Siddhidatri. It is believed that she has all the eight siddhis and is worshipped by all the Rishis and Yogis.
Chaitra Navratri ends – Ram Navratri Day 9 – April 19/20, 2013 The day is observed as Ram Navami. Ramnavami or the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight. Since Rama is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu having born at noon, temples and family shrines are elaborately decorated and traditional prayers are chanted together by the family in the morning. Also, at temples special havans are organized, along with Vedic chanting of Vedic mantras and offerings of fruits and flowers.
The day is also celebrated as the wedding anniversary of Sri Rama and his consort Sita.
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