Chaitra Navratri is an important Hindu festival celebrated over a period of nine days. In 2021, Chaitra Navratri is scheduled to fall on 13 April 2021. The festival starts with 'Pratipada' and lasts till the 'Navami' of the Shukla Paksha during the Hindu month of the moon of Shukla Paksha, which is also the first month of the Hindu calendar, hence it is named Chaitra Navratri. According to the English calendar it falls during the months of March – April.
Chaitra Navaratri is also known as 'Vasant Navaratri' or 'Rama Navaratri', the ninth day of Navaratri festival is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama. The nine forms of Goddess Shakti are worshiped during Chaitra Navratri on nine days.
Ritual during Chaitra Navratri 2021:
Before the celebration of Chaitra Navratri begins, the house is cleaned to welcome the Goddess in her home.
The worshipers keep fast for the entire nine days. Only during fasting do you eat 'satvik' food like potatoes, poultry flour, curd and fruits. During this time, the consumption of non-vegetarian food and the consumption of onion and garlic should be avoided. Devotees spend their days worshiping the Goddess and chanting Navaratri mantras. The fast is broken after the havan on the ninth day and the prasad, after offering it to the goddess, is distributed along with other members of the family.
The first three days of Chaitra Navratri are dedicated to Maa Durga, the goddess of energy, the next three days are worshiped to mother Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and the last three days offer devotion to Mother Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge.
The worship rituals of each of the nine days of Chaitra Navratri are given below:
Day 1 - Pratipada - The rituals performed on this day include Ghatasthapana, Chandra Darshan and Shailputri Puja.
Day 2 - Dwitiya - The rituals of the day are Sindhara Dooj and Brahmacharini Puja.
Day 3 - Teej - This day is celebrated as Gauri Teej or Saubhagya Teej and the main ritual of the day is 'Chandraghanta Puja'.
Day 4 - Chaturthi - Also known as Varad Vinayak Chauth, devotees perform 'Kushmanda Puja' on this day.
Day 5 - Panchami - This day is also known as Lakshmi Panchami and the main pujas are Naga Puja and Skandamata Puja.
Day 6 - Shashthi - It is known as 'Yamuna Chhath' or 'Skanda Shashthi' and 'Katyayani Puja' is performed on this day.
Day 7 - Saptami - This day is celebrated as Maha Saptami and Kalratri Puja is performed to get the grace of the Goddess.
Day 8 - Ashtami - This is the main day of 'Durga Ashtami' and is also called 'Annapurna Ashtami'. On this day ‘Mahagauri Puja’ and ‘Sandhya Puja’ are performed.
Day 9 - Navami - The last day of Navratri festival is celebrated as Rama Navami and Siddhidatri Maha Puja is performed on this day.
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