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India is a nation which boasts of celebrations and festivals throughout the year. Hindu festivals fortify the rich culture and history of this country. There is a proper reason, meaning and significance behind each Hindu festival. Navratri happens to be one of the most significant Hindu festivals of India. Navratri is celebrated for 9 days and it is believed that there is a significance of each day in Navratri. This year the festival will begin on 29 September and will end on 7 October.
As its name suggests, “Navratri” is a festival which is celebrated for nine days with immense joy and religious fervor throughout the country. This renowned Hindu festival is celebrated twice in a year; Once in Chaitra, (during the month of March-April) and once in Ashwin (during September-October months). Navratri is solely dedicated to Goddess Durga. Just like the other Indian festivals, the festival of Navratri also has a special meaning and significance. There is a special meaning of each day during Navratri.
Among all the 9 days of Navratri, each day is devoted to the 9 different forms of the deity Durga. Goddess Durga is worshipped under 9 distinct names for 9 days of Navratri. The Goddess takes up a new look, a fresh character and a new responsibility each day.
The significance of each day in Navratri also discloses the religious significance of this nine-day-festival. This article puts emphasis on the significance and meaning of each day of Navratri:
The 1st Day of Navratri
On the very first day of navratri, the deity Durga takes on the form of "Shailputri" who is reckoned as the daughter of Himalayas. This is another form of "Shakti"- The spouse of "Shiva".
The 2nd Day of Navratri
On the second day, Durga adopts the form of "Brahmacharini". This name is derived from "Brahma", which signifies penance or "Tapa". Brahmacharini is one of the many forms of Parvati(or Shakti).
The 3rd Day of Navratri
Goddess Durga takes up the form of "Chandraghanta" on the 3rd day of navratri. Chandraghanta symbolises bravery and beauty.
The 4th Day of Navratri
On the 4th day of navratri, the deity Durga adopts the form of "Kushmanda". According to the legends, it is said that Kushmanda created the whole universe by her giggle and hence she is worshipped as the creator of this entire universe.
The 5th Day of Navratri
"Skanda Mala" is another fresh form of Goddess Durga which is revered on the 5th day of navratri. The reason behind the name Skanda Mala is this: she was Skanda's mother who was the warrior head of the army of Gods.
The 6th Day of Navratri
Durga takes up the form of "Katyayani" on the 6th day of navratri. Katyayani sits on a lion and she has four hands and 3 eyes.
The 7th Day of Navratri
Goddess Durga is venerated as "Kalratri" on the 7th day of navratri. Kalratri means dark night. On this day, the deity helps her devotees to be courageous. The idol of Kalratri has 4 hands.
The 8th Day of Navratri
On the 8th day, Durga is revered as "Maha Gauri". This form of Durga is believed to be exceptionally beautiful and she looks as white as snow. On this very day, Maha Gauri is adorned with white colored jewelry. Maha Gauri signifies tranquility and displays wisdom.
The 9th Day of Navratri
Durga adopts the form of "Siddhidatri" on the 9th or the last day of navratri. It is said that Siddhidatri encompasses all the 8 siddhis. Siddhidatri is believed to reside on a lotus and is revered by all the Sages, Yogis, Sadhakas and Siddhas.
Thus, the aforementioned steps illustrate the significance of each day in navratri. In the first 6 days, the navratri pooja is carried out at home. From the 7th day onwards the celebrations attain the form of a festival and the whole atmosphere gets surrounded by the navratri celebrations.