Celebrating 9 Nights of the Goddess

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Navratri is a nine day (or rather nine night) long festival celebrated all over India. During Navratri, the nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshiped in their unique divine forms.  Goddess Durga is the combined energy of the three supreme goddesses (Lakshmi + Saraswati + Parvati) and fire ceremonies are performed to gain power over our enemies and eradicate negativity. .

shutterstock_1509472658.jpgGoddess Durga fought for nine days and nine nights before emerging victor on the tenth day. Devotees fast for 9 days, and celebrate with a feast and festival on the 10th day marking victory. The story behind fasting during Navratri is when the Goddess hid in a cave for 9 days without food or water before killing the demon.  

This also marks the start of India’s unofficial dance festival/ season.  Garba and Dandiya are the main dances of this festival. Both these dances are done in groups.  Women wear ornate long-flowing attire with beautiful embroidery, vibrant colors and a lot of accessories. Men wear highly accessorized kurtas and pajamas to match.

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This year Navratri will begin on Sunday, September 29 and last until October 7.

Each day has a specific color, honoring the Goddess of the day, and you can celebrate by simply wearing clothes of these colors on each day:

The color of Day 1 is Orange symbolizing happiness and bliss.

The goddess avatar of the day is Shailaputri, the daughter of the mountains.  She is the absolute form of Mother Nature and symbolizes strength.

The color of Day 2 is White symbolizing peace and purity.

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The goddess worshiped is Brahmacharani.  She is a devout yogini who practices austerity, detachment and spiritual knowledge.

In this form, Goddess Durga or Parvati does harsh penance to win over her consort Lord Shiva.

The color of Day 3 is Red symbolizing courage and passion.

The incarnation for this day of the festival is the Goddess Chandraghanta, celebrating Parvati’s marriage to Shiva.

The color of Day 4 is Royal Blue symbolizing health, wealth and strength.

Goddess Kushmanda is worshiped today, as the Goddess with the celestial womb, who created the cosmos. Ku means “a little”, Ushma means “warm energy” and Anda means “cosmic egg”.

The color of Day 5 is Yellow symbolizing happiness, brightness and power.

Devotees worship Skandamata today. The Goddess avatar is the mother of Kartikeya, who is distinguished as having been born from many mothers.

The color of Day 6 is Green symbolizing new beginnings and growth.

On the sixth day of the festival,  Goddess Katyayani is honored. She is the incarnation of ‘Maa Durga’ and known for her courage.

The color of Day 7 is Grey symbolizing the strength of transforming.

The seventh day of Navratri is also known as Saptami (literally translated to “the seventh day”).  Goddess Kalaratri is the most violent form of Ma Durga and is revered for Saptamani.

shutterstock_688865098The color of Day 8 is Purple embody calm and peace.

The eighth day of the Hindu festival is also known as Ashtami. This day is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri, a goddess who is believed to bless devotees.

Be sure to ask the Goddess Mother for a boon today.

The color of Day 9 is Peacock Green embody calm and peace.

The ninth day of Navratri is the last day of the festival. It is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidhatri, who blesses her devotees with divine powers (“Siddhi” means divine powers).  Several rituals are conducted to celebrate the occasion, and end the 9 nights of Navratri.


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