The word ‘Navratri’ derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘Nav’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means night. The actual meaning of Navratri is nine nights. It is basically a Hindu festival which is celebrated for nine days to solely worship Goddess Durga and her various avatar which are the epitome of power. The festival is dedicated to feminine power or Shakti which is significantly refer to as Goddess Durga. It is celebrated twice a year, once right after the Spring season (Chaitra Navratri) and the other before Autumn (Sharad Navratri).
In the Gregorian calendar, the Chaitra Navratri falls during the period of March-April. This year Chaitra Navratri is staring on March 18 and the celebration will continue till March 25. This year Navratri will have 8 days instead of 9 days as the Navami and Ashtami are following on the same day. As per as the religious texts Chaitra Navratri is staring during Savarth Siddhi Yoga, which is considered quite auspicious.
Check out the calendar of Chaitra Navratri 2018:
March 18 (Sunday) – Pratipada – Ghatasthapana, Chandra Darshan and Shailputri Puja
March 19 (Monday) – Dwitiya – Sindhara Dooj and Brahmacharini Puja
March 20 (Tuesday)- Tritiya – Gauri Teej, Saubhagya Teej and Chandraghanta Puja
March 21 (Wednesday)- Chaturthi – Varad Vinayaka Chauth, Lakshmi Panchami and Kushmanda Puja
March 22 (Thursday)- Panchami – Naag Puja, Skanda Sashti and Skandamata Puja
March 23 (Friday)- Shashti – Yamuna Chhath and Katyayani Puja
March 24 (Saturday)- Saptami – Maha Saptami, Kalaratri Puja, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja Annapurna Ashtami
March 25 (Sunday)– Ashtami/ Navami– Sandhi Puja and Rama Navami, Navratri Parana and Dashami
The nine days festival is all about fasting, praying, eating different foods, enjoying, etc. People of different states like Maharashtra, Gujrat and Bengal. Chaitra Navratri falls in the month of Chaitra and so it is termed as ‘Chaitra Navratri’. It also marks the beginning of Hindu New Year. It is believed that Lord Shiva granted permission to his wife Goddess Durga for seeing her mother for just nine days. During that time, Goddess Durga demolished demon Mahishasura. It is believed that Goddess Durga has eternal divine power, which can never be created nor destroyed. Devotees worship the three main manifestations of Goddess Shakti i.e Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi to seek their divine blessing.