Navaratri is a Religious festival, observed and celebrated by Hindus as a Social Event as well.
‘Nava’ In Sanskrit means Nine,Ratri is Night.
Navaratri means nine nights.
The origin and the legend are detailed in Wikipedia.
The scope of this blog is limited to the period of observance, the poojas to be performed and the meaning of he Poojas.
‘The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.
Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power]. The Navaratri festival or ‘Nine Nights festival’ becomes ‘ten days festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) are worshipped with fervor and devotion.’
Navaratri is calculated on the basis of the Lunar calendar of The Hindus,
For details of the lunar Calendar please refer my blog Mahalaya Paksha.
Pooja is normally conducted in the evening.
First Three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga.
The slokas recommended are.
Sri Durga Suktham.
Sri Lalitha Sahasra Nama.
Naivedyam.Payasa, preferably Milk.
Next Three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.
Sri Lakshmi Sahasra Nama.
Sri Lakshmi Astothram.
Last Three Days.
Saraswati Dwadasa Nama.
In some families the tradition ‘Kolu’ or arranging toys representing the Puranic incidents (and modern Living )are also displayed.
This practice is not really religious,but more of a social one.
Those who do not do it regularly avoid it to start for sentimental reasons.
There is nothing wrong in starting anew.
Women are called to Homes and are offered Kum Kum and Thaamboolam and if possible, Blouse pieces( Black color is avoided).
Traditional dishes like sundal are offered to visitors.
On all these days , Coconut,fruits , betel leaf and nut are to be offered as Naivedyam.
I will be blogging details of Sarawathi Pooja ans Vijaya Dasami one day earlier to the functions.
Valor ,Wealth and Knowledge are the three attributed one needs to succeed in Life.
These three aspects are reflected in the personification of these three Deities.
While Durga stands for Valor, Lakshmi is for wealth(not merely economic prosperity, but all round happiness ans contentment), and Sarasvati for Knowledge and enlightenment.
In all these Poojas these deities are invoked and their Blessings are sought.
For Slokas, Link:
Navratri Day 1 – October 1, 2016 – Ghatsthapana – Navratri Begins
Navratri Day 1 – October 2, 2016 – Chandra Darshan (Tithi is repeated)
Navratri Day 2 – October 3, 2016 – Sindoor Tritiya
Navratri Day 3 – October 4, 2016 – Varad Vinayak Chaturthi
Navratri Day 4 – October 5, 2016 – Upang Lalita Vrat – Lalitha Panchami
Navratri Day 5 – October 6, 2016 – Saraswati Awahan
Navratri Day 6 – October 7, 2016 – Saraswathi Puja (western parts of India)
Navratri Day 7 – October 8, 2016 – Saraswathi Balidan – Maha Lakshmi Puja (western parts of India)
Navratri Day 8 – October 9, 2016 – Mahashtami – Annapoorna Parikrama – Saraswati Visarjan – Mahanavami fasting
Navratri Day 9 – October 10, 2016 – Mahanavami
The tenth day is celebrated as Dasara or Vijaya Dashami.