Navratri – literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, ‘nava’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning nights – is the celebration of Goddess Durga in her nine forms on the scheduled nine days as per the Hindu Calendar. A traditional Hindu festival of Chaitra Navaratri, that commences from 28 March 2017 will end with Ram Navami on April 5. This multi-day Hindu festival is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. The significance of Navaratri festival is the victory of good over the evil and when the divine power restored Dharma. Navratri is celebrated twice in a year. The festival starts with Ghatasthapana. Here are the schedule and shubh muhurat for Navratri festival of all nine days:
Day 1: 28th March – Maa Shailputri Puja (Ghatasthapana)
Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on the day one of Chaitra Navaratri festival that falls on March 28, Tuesday. Ghatasthapana is an invocation of Goddess Shakti and to be done only in shubh muhurat time. Therefore it is an important ritual which is to be followed dedicatedly as it marks the beginning of Chaitra Navaratri festivity. Ghatasthapana Muhurta time is 08:26 am to 10:29 am which means a total duration of 1 hour 57 minutes
Day 2: 29th March- Maa Brahmacharini Puja
The second day of Chaitra Navaratri festival will fall on March 29, Wednesday. Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri and is believed that Goddess Brahmacharini controls Lord Mangal, the provider of all fortunes according to Hindu legends and hence worshipping the goddess brings happiness and prosperity. Shubh muhurat for Maa Brahmacharini Puja will be from 09:25 am to 11:10 am.
Day 3: 30th March- Maa Chandraghanta Puja
The third day is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. This year, the third day of Chaitra Navaratri festival will be on March 30, Thursday. Goddess Chandraghanta is believed to drive away the spirits troubling her devotees with the sound of the moon-bell present on her forehead. The day is observed as Gangaur also known as Gauri Tritiya. Gangaur festival is widely celebrated in Rajasthan and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Shubh muhurat for Maa Chandraghanta Puja will be from 09:12 am to 10:14 am.
Day 4: 31st March- Maa Kushmanda Puja
Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri that will be celebrated on March 31, Friday. Goddess Kushmanda governs the God Sun and is the source of energy and direction of Sun. She is worshipped with her favourite red coloured flowers. Maa Kushmanda Puja’s shubh muhurat will be from 08:40 am to 9:50 am.
Day 5: 1st April- Mann Shandamata Puja
The fifth day of all nine days to celebrate Chaitra Navaratri festival will be on April 1, Saturday. Goddess Skandamata, who is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri is the form of Goddess Parvati who governs Planet Budha (Mercury), and red coloured flowers are also used to worship her. Devotees worship Skandamata also gets the benefit of worshipping Lord Kartikeya. The shubh muhurat for Maa Skandamata Puja is from 08:55 am to 10:12 am.
Day 6: 2nd April- Maa Katyani Puja
The day six is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani and this year the sixth day of Chaitra Navaratri festival will be on Sunday that is on April 2. Roses are the favourite flowers to worship Goddess Katyayani. Meanwhile, the day also marks the birth anniversary of Goddess Yamuna and celebrated as Yamuna Jayanti. Yamuna Chhath is a popular festival celebrated in Indian city Mathura. Shubh muhurat for Maa Katyayani Puja will be 09:26am to 10:30 am.
Day 7: 3rd April- Maa Kalaratri Puja
The seventh day of Chaitra Navaratri festival will be on April 3, Monday. Goddess Kalaratri is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. Goddess Kalaratri is also known as Goddess Shubhankari and worshipped with night-blooming Jasmine flowers. She is believed to govern planet Shani (Saturn). She is one of the most powerful and ferocious forms of Goddess Parvati and said to remove the darkness from the lives of her pure-hearted devotees and wrath hell on the evil-doers. Maa Kalaratri Puja’s shubh muhurat will be from 09:12 am to 11:15 am.
Day 8: 4th April- Maa Mahagauri Puja
Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. Durgashtami 2017 also falls on the day. Devotees fast during Ashtami Tithi of Shukla Paksha. The day also marks the Sandhi Puja, which has a special significance during Navratri festival puja. This Durgashtami will all on April 4, Tuesday. Shubh muhurat for Maa Mahagauri Puja will be from 09:03 am to 11:17 am.
Day 9: 5th April- Maa Siddhidatri Puja
The last and the final day of Chaitra Navaratri festival will be on April 5, Wednesday. Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri who is believed to provide energy and direction to planet Ketu (Uranus). She can award ultimate power and fulfill every wish of her devotee. The day also marks the birth of Lord Rama, the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the day is celebrated as Ram Navmi festival across India. Shubh muhurat for Ram Navami will be from 11:15am to 13:44pm.
Navratri Vrat Vidhi
These nine days of Chaitra Navaratri are also marked by fasting and abstinence, with observing the festivities allowed only certain kind of foods. Navratri vrat is, thus, one of the most sacred of fasting rituals among the Hindus. Some people live only on milk, fruits and fruit juices for the entire length of fasting. The devotees abstain from consuming meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, onions, garlic, dishes made with common salt or any kind of spice. Apart from tea, coffee and milk, potato cooked with rock salt are extremely popular dishes among devotees observing partial fast. Milk products and dry fruits can also be consumed. Navratri rules also imply watching one’s temperament, actions and behavior. This is particularly aided by following a strict vegetarian diet. With this, we wish all our readers a Happy Chaitra Navratri 2017. May Goddess Durga showers her blessings on all. Jai Mata Di!