Navratri, we celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm every year. Navratri is a combination of two words, where ‘Nav’ means nine and ‘ratri’ means to be nights.
It is a festival of all nine days. In these nine days, we worship nine different forms of goddess Durga.
Many of the people also opt for fasting and they wait an entire year to be part of this festival.
Any fast or a festival is incomplete without bhog. Navratri also has nine different kinds of bhog for each day having its own significance. There are nine different colours also for each day of this festival.
Day one of Navratri also known as ‘Pratipada’, we worship “Maa Shailputri”, the daughter of Himalayas. On this day cow’s ghee is offered to the goddess. This gives the devotee a disease-free life. The colour for this day is yellow.
The second day is ‘Dwitiya’. On this day Goddess Durga is worshipped as “Brahmacharini”. This form grants prosperity and emancipation. To increase the longevity of the devotee and his/her family members, sugar is offered to the goddess on this day. The colour for this day as per religion is green.
The third day of Navratri is known as ‘tritiya’ and goddess Durga is worshipped as “Maa Chandraghanta”. The third day of Navratri exhibits characteristics of bravery and courage. Grey is the colour for this day. It is believed that offering milk, kheer and sweets made of milk helps to get rid of sorrows and pains in life.
On the fourth day of Navratri also known as the ‘chaturthi’, goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of “Kushmanda”. It is depicted to have 10 hands. The colour for this day is orange. As bhog to goddess Kushmanda, malpua is offered to the maan Durga goddess. It is believed that the universe is formed from the abdomen of the goddess. Offering malpua to goddess Kushmanda is believed to improve mental ability and decision-making power of the devotee.
A form of goddess Durga to be worshipped on the fifth day or the ‘panchami’ is “Skandmata”. Skandmata is depicted holding an infant Kartikey. It is traditional to wear white on this day. The bhog that we offer to goddess Skandmata on this is a banana. It is believed that offering banana helps to keep the physical health of the devotee.
On the sixth day ‘Shashti’, we worship goddess “Katyayani”. According to Hindu mythology, respected Kata performed several formalities to welcome the Goddess in the form of a daughter. Impressed with the devotion, the Goddess accepted his blessing. The child who was born to Kata came to be known as Katyayani. Honey is offered to the goddess on this day and this makes the devotee look charming and attractive. Color for this day is red.
‘Saptami’ or the seventh day. Goddess “Kalratri” is worshipped on this day. The goddess is portrayed having a dark complexion and aggressive posture. The colour for this day is royal blue. On this day we offer jaggery to the goddess for the removal of evil powers.
On the eighth day of Navratri or the ‘Ashtmi’ goddess, “Maha Gauri” is worshipped and this day symbolizes of purity, serenity and tranquillity, Mahagauri is said to put an end to all the suffering of her devotees. People offer fresh un-boiled milk, sweets made from mawa,halwa, black chana (gram) and fresh flowers to this goddess Later, these items are distributed as prasad among themselves.
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