India is indeed the land of festivals. From a logical point of view, this was pretty much expected, since a number of religions come together to make the democracy of India. Every other month, there is one festival or the other in our calendar. While there are some festivals that are more significant than the other, the essence of festivity that engulfs all of it is pretty much the same.
Despite all of it, when we say Navratri, the image that comes to most of our minds is that of Maha Navratri or Sharad Navratri that is celebrated somewhere around September or October.
However, the fact remains that there is another version of the festival of Navratri that is equally important. Here, we are talking of the festival of Chaitra Navratri that is celebrated in the month of March or April, which according to the Hindu calendar falls on the months of Chaitra or Vasant.
So, read on to know more about the significance of this festival.
• Just as in the case of Sharad Navratri, even in the Chaitra Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped in all of her mighty nine forms. The form of worship and celebrations vary from place to place and from state to state. However, the fasting that accompanies these nine days is something that remains constant across most places.
• This particular Navratri holds special significance, since it heralds the transition from the season of spring to that of summer. Being an agricultural-based country, this period is of utmost importance to a major portion of the country’s population. That is why, on each of the nine days of festivity, different kinds of offerings are made to the Lady Goddess.
These range from that of sweets and clothing to that of toys even. These special poojas that are performed during this period signify the arrival of Goddess Durga in our respective homes.
• All of us are well aware that the last day of Sharad Navratri culminates in Dussehra. The significance of Chaitra Navratri is equally important, as that culminates in Ram Navami (or in other words, Lord Rama’s birthday). This is one of the reasons why this festival is known as Ram Navratri.
• Another major significance of this festival is that it stresses on Sattvik food items being consumed, which in turn allows the body to detox or fortify from within. This is particularly important because it is during the transition from spring to summer that our immunities are at their vulnerable best and we become prone to a number of diseases and illnesses.
At such a point, binging on sugary, oily and heavy foods can prove to be further detrimental to our health. That is why, fasting during this point is beneficial, not just on the spiritual level, but also for our body.
• During this point of the calendar, a number of fruits and vegetables are available. This paves the way for a number of delicacies that are unique to this festival. Kuttu ki Puri, Singhade ka Halwa, Singhare ka Pakore, Sabudana Vadaa and Sabudaba Khichdi hold a special significance in the diet of those people who are fasting during this period.
Other than the usual vrat ka khana, people who are fasting also drink a lot of water and milk to keep themselves hydrated and energized during this period. Due to its availability, a number of summer fruits hold a special significance in all the festivity that engulfs Chaitra Navratri.
• The year of 2018 will see the auspicious festival of Chaitra Navratri commencing on the 18th of March and going all the way up to 26th of March.
• The order of the muhurtam is such that Prattipada is on the 18th of March, Dwitiya is on the 19th, Tritiya is on the 20th. The 21st sees Chaturthi, whereas the 22nd and 23rd see the Panchami and Shashti, respectively.
Saptami falls on the 24th of March and the most important day in all these festivity sees both the Ashtami and the Navami. On that note, here is wishing all our readers a fresh start and a very happy Chaitra Navratri 2018.