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Mahananda Navmi is a festival dedicated to the worship of Nanda Devi form of Goddess Durga. It falls on the ninth day during Shukla Paksha in the month of Bhadrapad. This year it will be observed on September 19, 2018. The Navmi Tithi will begin with the sunrise at 6:17 am and end at 6:24 pm with the sunset.
Goddess Durga, the one who bestows mental strength and material fulfilment, blesses her devotees by washing away all the mistakes of the past life. Not just this, her blessings help in conquering one's enemies as well.
While special puja rituals are organised everywhere on the day of Mahanada Navmi, the Kanak Temple in West Bengal and Bijara temple in Odisha are particularly renowned for Mahananda Navmi.
Who Is Goddess Nanda?
The festival is dedicated to Goddess Nanda. She is one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The nine forms are - Mahalakshmi, Harsiddhi, Kshemkaari, Shivdooti, Mahatunda, Brahmiri, Chandramandala, Revati and Nanda. Goddess Nanda is believed to reside in the Himalayas. She is believed to be a combination of beauty and power.
Mention Of Nanda Devi In The Puranas
Shiva Purana says that Nanda Devi resides in the Himalayas. However, Vishnu Purana says that Goddess Nanda was born as the daughter of Gokul Chief Nanda, who later came to be known as the father of Lord Krishna. She was born on the same day Krishna was born in order to aid in the escape of Lord Krishna from Kamsa's trap. Thereafter, she is believed to have gone to Nagadhiraj Himalaya and his wife Maina, and stayed with them as their daughter. However, another small variation in the story of her birth says that she was born as a daughter of a saint named Himvant and his wife.
How Is Nanda Navmi Celebrated?
The festival is celebrated as a fasting day. People observe a fast onright from the Saptami Tithi. Fairs are organised at the temple premises and near the temples from the Saptami Tithi itself. Another fair is organised on the eighth day (Ashtami Tithi), near the Almora temple of the Goddess. The fast parana is performed on the ninth day, known as Navmi.
Also Read : Why Is Ganesha Visarjan Performed?
Rituals On Nanda Navmi
Some people even take a bath in a holy river. This is known as Punya snaan and performing such a bath is considered to wash away all the mistakes of the past life. A special fruit named as Taler Bada is prepared. After offering it to Goddess, it is distributed as prasad to the deity. Many communities invite Kanjakas ( girls between the age group of 2-10 years) on a feast on this day. Men wear traditional dhotis on this day and women wear sarees of red and white colour.