Shardiya Navratri 2023

Navratri is one of the most significant Hindu festivals which is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. It is observed biannually, the first one being observed in the month of Chaitra and the second during the month of Sharada. Shardiya Navratri is held during the bright half of the month Ashvin, corresponding to September and October in the Gregorian calendar. It is the most popular and significant of all Navratris.

It begins on Shukla Paksha Pratipada of the Hindu month Ashwin and concludes on the 10th day with the Dussehra (also known as Vijayadashami) festival. It is also referred to as Maha Navratri.

During Navratri, Hindus worship the nine forms or avatars of Goddess Durga which are

  1. Shailputri
  2. Brahmacharini
  3. Chandraghanta
  4. Kushmanda
  5. Skanda Mata
  6. Katyayini
  7. Kalaratri
  8. Mahagaur
  9. Siddhidhatri
In some regions of India, the celebrations include not just the worship of goddess Durga but also the worship of other goddesses like Saraswati and Lakshmi. Other regional deities include Ganesha, Kartikeya, Shiva, and Parvati.

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The Ayudha Puja is an example of the pan-Hindu tradition observed during Navaratri that worships Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, learning, music, and the arts. Worshippers revere peace and knowledge on Ayudha Puja which usually is observed on the ninth day of Navaratri.

On Ayudha Puja day, soldiers honour, adorn, and revere their weapons while praying to Goddess Saraswati. Musicians preserve, perform, and worship their musical instruments. Farmers, carpenters, smiths, potters, shopkeepers, and other tradespeople all decorate and worship their tools, machinery, and equipment. Students worship their books and pay respect to their teachers seeking their blessings. This tradition is especially significant in South India; however, it is also observed as in other parts of the country too.

When is Shardiya Navratri in 2023

In 2023, Shardiya Navratri will be celebrated from Sunday, 15 October 2023 to Tuesday, 24th October 2023.

Here are the dates of each Navratri day and the goddess worshipped on each day.

Navratri Day Weekday Date Goddess Form Worshipped Also Known as
Day 1 Sunday 15-Oct Shailputri Ghatasthapana,
Day 2 Monday 16-Oct Brahmacharini
Day 3 Tuesday 17-Oct Chandraghanta
Day 4 Wednesday 18-Oct Kushmanda
Day 5 Thursday 19-Oct Skandamata
Day 6 Friday 20-Oct Katyayani
Day 7 Saturday 21-Oct Kalaratri Maha Saptami,
Day 8 Sunday 22-Oct Mahagauri Durga Ashtami,
Day 9 Monday 23-Oct Siddhidatri Navratri Parana, Maha Navami
Day 10 Tuesday 24-Oct Vijaya Dashami, Dussehra

Colours of Navratri

White, red, royal blue, yellow, green, orange, grey, pink, purple, and peacock green are the sacred colours for Navratri. Every year, the colours to be followed during Navratri change.


Do you want to know why?

Well, the secret of the changing colours is due to the day on which Navratri commences. The first colour of Navratri is determined by the weekday on which Navratri commences or when the Ghatasthapana or Pratipada occurs, while the rest of the 8 days follow a fixed colour cycle.

Each weekday is assigned a particular colour. They are as follows:

Monday White
Tuesday Red
Wednesday Royal Blue
Thursday Yellow
Friday Green
Saturday Grey
Sunday Orange
So, if Navratri commences on a Monday, the colours to be followed are as above. In such a scenario, Navratri will have two Mondays, two Tuesdays, and/or two Wednesdays. So, depending on the day, two to three days can arrive twice, however, there is another rule that no colour is allowed to repeat itself. Thus, for such scenarios, the colour codes will be:

Peacock Green, pink and purple or Sky Blue for the next 3 days.

The colour codes for Shardiya Navratri 2023 are as follows:

Sr. No Navratri Tithi Date Weekday Colour
1 Pratipada (Navratri Day 1) October 15, 2023 Sunday Orange
2 Dwitiya (Navratri Day 2) October 16, 2023 Monday White
3 Tritiya (Navratri Day 3 ) October 17, 2023 Tuesday Red
4 Chaturthi (Navratri Day 4) October 18, 2023 Wednesday Royal Blue
5 Panchami (Navratri Day 5) October 19, 2023 Thursday Yellow
6 Shashti (Navratri Day 6) October 20, 2023 Friday Green
7 Saptami (Navratri Day 7) October 21, 2023 Saturday Grey
8 Ashtami (Navratri Day 8) October 22, 2023 Sunday Peacock green
9 Navami (Navratri Day 9) October 23, 2023 Monday Pink

More Facts about Shardiya Navratri 2023

Navratri Day 1

Date: Sunday, 15 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Pratipada

Favourite flower: Hibiscus

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Shailaputryai Namaha’

Navratri Day 2

Date: Monday, 16 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Dwitiya

Flower: Chrysanthemum flower

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Brahmacharinyai Namaha’

Navratri Day 3

Date: Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Tritiya

Flower: Lotus

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Chandraghantayai Namaha’

Navratri Day 4

Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Chaturthi

Flower: Jasmine

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Kushmandayai Namaha’

Navratri Day 5

Date: Thursday, 19 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Panchami

Flower: Yellow Rose

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Skandamatayai Namaha’

Navratri Day 6

Date: Friday, 20 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Shashti

Flower: Marigold

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Katyayanyai Namaha’

Navratri Day 7

Date: Saturday, 21 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Saptami

Flower: Krishna Kamal

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Kalaratryai Namaha’

Navratri Day 8 – Maha Ashtami/Durga Ashtami

Date: Sunday, 22 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Ashtami

Flower: Jasmine

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Mahagauryai Namaha’

Navratri 9 -Maha Navami

Date: Monday, 23 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami

Flower: Champa

Mantra: ‘Om Devi Siddhidatryai Namaha’

Navratri 10 – Vijaya Dashami/Dussehra/Durga Visarjan

Date: Tuesday, 24 October 2023

Tithi: Ashwin Shukla Paksha Dashami

Rituals of Navratri

In Hinduism, Navratri holds special significance; thus, devotees of Goddess Durga observe various forms of rituals during the nine days of Navratri. This is the most powerful epoch in history. Navratri commemorates the presence of the ultimate Shakti, Goddess Durga in her nine forms. Divine love pervades all worshippers who partake in the rituals and customs on this auspicious and majestic occasion. During Navratri, it is believed that these feminine divine energies generate positivity in the universe.

As Navratri reveres the power of Goddess Durga in her nine manifestations, the idols of the goddess are installed in the houses and the entire family worship the deity in accordance with the traditional Navratri rituals.

The first three days of Navratri are entirely dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, during which her energy and force are worshipped. Each day commemorates a different manifestation of Durga, namely Kumari, Parvati, and Kali.

The fourth and sixth days are devoted to Goddess Laxmi, while the fifth is devoted to Goddess Saraswati, also known as Lalita Panchami.

The seventh day and eighth day is devoted to Goddess Saraswati, while on the eighth day a yagna is also performed for Goddess Saraswati.

The ninth day is devoted to the Goddess Siddhidatri, followed by the grand Dussehra Festival.

The Mythology of Navratri

The story connected with Navratri and Durga puja is narrated in the Markandeya Purana. The defeat of Mahishasura is the central mythological context to Navratri. The entire story is presented in chapters 81 to 93, referred to as Devi Mahatmyam. During Navratri, people recite this purana while worshipping the Nava Durga.

Rambha and Karambha were two brothers who practised severe penances in order to attain power. Indra was alarmed by such severe atonement and killed one of the brothers, ‘Karambha.’ This fuelled Rambha’s desire for vengeance, and he became more stringent in his penance as a result. Many Gods were impressed by his worship, and they bestowed upon him the boon of being extremely powerful and unbeatable by anyone, neither Gods nor demons.

Rambha once fell in love with and procreated with a female buffalo. During this time, a male buffalo entered and set his eyes on the female buffalo. As Rambha’s boon had not included death by animal, the male buffalo was able to kill Rambha.

The female buffalo was impregnated by the copulation with Rambha. She gave birth to an attractive calf. But heartbroken at her husband’s death she committed suicide by jumping into the fire. From the fire a half-buffalo, half-human ‘Mahishasura’ emerged.

The gods and demons were all defeated by Mahishasura. He attacked and conquered heaven, enslaving the devas/gods and declared himself to be Indra, the gods’ lord. The gods, therefore, led by Brahma, requested Vishnu and Shiva to assess the situation and sought the end of Mahishasura.

The destructive Mahishasura wreaked mayhem and instilled great rage in the Hindu trinity. The Trimurti then combined their energies to form Nava Durga, the pinnacle of power. Every God then accorded all of their distinctive weapons on the new feminine power. Shiva gave the trident, Vishnu his discus, Varuna his conch, Agni gave his spear, Yama gave his cudgel, Vayu bestowed the bow, Surya his arrows, Indra’s Vajra, Kubera gave his mace, Brahma bestowed the water pot, Kaala his sword and Vishwakarma his axe. Lord Himavan bestowed the mountain lion as the vehicle of Durga.

Seeing the magnificent goddess, Mahishasura fell in love with her and proposed marriage to her; however, the goddess had a condition. She agreed to marry Mahishasura on the condition that he should defeat her. Thus ensued a severe battle which lasted 9 days after which Goddess Durga assumed the form of Chandika and pinned Mahishasura under her foot and pierced him with the spear and cut off his head with her sword.

To know more about the significance and story of each Navratri day, read on by clicking on the links below.

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