Navratri is a festival celebrated by the Hindus devoting Goddess Durga – Goddess of Purity and Power (shakti). Navratri word is a combination of two words ‘Nav’ & ‘Ratri’ resembling to nine consecutive nights. These nine nights are purely devoted to Goddess Durga by performing ritualistic puja and fasts. The festival is observed mainly by girls. Navratri is festival in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, some part of Karnataka and Maharashtra. There are two types of Navratri celebrated (1) Chaitra Navratri (2) Sharad Navratri. The major festival is Sharad Navratri celebrated in September/October. It is also known as ‘maha-navratri’. These nine nights are believed to be the most auspicious nights to perform garba and puja. Nine different incarnations of the Goddess Durga are worshipped each night.
The calendar for Navratri 2014 is mentioned below in this article.
Navratri Calendar 2014
Navratri 2014 will be starting from Thursday 25th September and will continue for 9 consecutive nights ending up on 3rd October. The navratri festival is mainly dependent on the lunar calendar followed by Hindus so the number of nights for the festival can increase by a day or decrease too. The festival date is decided by the dates in the lunar calendar and on this basis the festival commences everyear on the first day of the fortnight of the lunar month of Aswina.
The schedule for navrati 2014 along with the corresponding events for the particular day is given below.
25th September, Thursday
Event: Ghatasthapana and Shailputri Puja
26th September, Friday:
Event: Chandra Darshan and Brahmacharini Puja
27th September, Saturday:
Event: Sindoor Tritiya and Chandraghanta Puja
28th September, Sunday:
Event: Kushmanda Puja, Varad Vinayaka Chauth and Upang Lalita Vrat
29th September, Monday:
Event: Skandamata Puja
30th September, Tuesday
Event: Katyayani Puja
1st October, Wednesday:
Event: Saraswati Awahan and Kalaratri Puja
2nd October, Thursday:
Event: Saraswati Puja, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja and Maha Navami.
3rd October, Friday:
Event: Ayudha Puja and Vijayadashami
Rituals of Navratri 2014
Navratri is mainly devoted to Goddess Durga and all her nine incarnations are worshipped each day for these nine nights. Incarnations of the Goddess are Goddess Shailputri, Brahmcharni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.
The first three are dedicated to Goddess Puja- goddess of power. Barley seeds are sown in the mud pot and are offered to Goddess by keeping it at Puja Alter. The next three days are dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth & Prosperity- Goddess Lakshmi. The last three days are devoted to Goddess Saraswati who is believed to be Goddess of knowledge & wisdom.
Significance & celebrations of Navratri 2014
Navratri is celebrated by traditional music and dance for all nine nights. Gujarat is the centre of this festival. The folk dance of Gujarat ‘Garba’ is also the devotional dance performed during navratri. The garba is a part of ‘dandiya raas’ derived from the tradition of Lord Krishna who used to sing and dance along with the Gopis using dandiyas – thin wooden sticks in their hands.
Myths are that Lord Shiva had asked all the Gods to come together and unite their powers to create a Divine female warrior to conquer the demon ‘mahishasura’. This divine warrior was Goddess Durga who fought for nine days and night and finally conquered the demon on 10th day, which today is known as ‘Vijayadashmi’.
Navratri is celebrated widely in Gujarat. ‘Garba’ is well played by the people of Gujarat and is also popular in Gujarat. Many grounds arrange garba parties for nine successive days for this celebration. Halls are also booked for it. Girls and boys wear traditional dress, chaniya choli and kurtas respectively and play garma all night. Garba songs and music are played by orchestra parties and recordings. In West Bengal this occasion is celebrated as Durga Puja. The daily ceremony gets started by a ritualistic puja of the Goddess and then followed by ‘garba’ traditional dance. Major cities of Gujarat like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Mumbai of Maharashtra celebrate the festival of navratri with great energy and excitement. Colorful traditional dresses are worn to play garba.
Hope you enjoy Navratri 2014 with full excitement, joy and energy.