Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated over nine days in honor of the divine feminine energy or the goddess Durga. It is observed in the months of March-April and September-October, during the Chaitra and Ashwin months of the Hindu calendar. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and is celebrated with great fervor and devotion in different parts of India and other countries with significant Hindu populations.
During Navratri, devotees fast, meditate, and pray to the goddess Durga and her nine avatars or forms. The nine days are also associated with nine different colors, which hold special significance and are believed to represent different aspects of the goddess.
The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to the goddess Durga, who is worshipped as the destroyer of evil and negative energies. The next three days are dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi, who is associated with wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. The final three days are dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, who is revered as the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and learning.
During the festival, devotees observe fasts, eat only vegetarian food, and avoid alcohol and non-vegetarian food. They wake up early, take a bath, and offer prayers to the goddess. In many places, people also participate in Garba and Dandiya Raas dances, which involve traditional music and colorful attire.
Each of the nine days of Navratri is associated with a particular form of the goddess and a specific color. The following is a list of the goddesses and their associated colors for each day:
Day 1: Shailaputri (gray) - The daughter of the Himalayas, she represents the power of the mountains and is worshipped for health and prosperity.
Day 2: Brahmacharini (orange) - The unmarried form of the goddess, she represents love, devotion, and penance.
Day 3: Chandraghanta (white) - The goddess with a half-moon shaped like a bell on her forehead, she represents bravery and is worshipped for peace and prosperity.
Day 4: Kushmanda (red) - The creator of the universe, she represents fertility and abundance.
Day 5: Skandamata (royal blue) - The mother of Skanda (also known as Kartikeya or Murugan), she represents the nurturing aspect of motherhood.
Day 6: Katyayani (yellow) - The daughter of Sage Katyayan, she represents bravery and valor.
Day 7: Kalaratri (green) - The fierce and destructive form of the goddess, she represents the power of time and is worshipped for protection against negative energies.
Day 8: Mahagauri (peacock green) - The peaceful and calm form of the goddess, she represents purity and enlightenment.
Day 9: Siddhidatri (purple) - The goddess of supernatural powers and blessings, she represents the culmination of Navratri and is worshipped for spiritual enlightenment.
Navratri is a time for introspection, purification, and renewal of faith. It is an occasion to connect with one's inner self and seek blessings from the goddess for good health, prosperity, and well-being.