Nine Days… Nine Goddesses… Nine Colors…
I was eagerly waiting for publishing this post of Navratri Colors 2017. As I am one of the biggest devotees of “Maa Durga”. India is filled with various beautiful and vibrant festivals, cultures, traditions.
Even the name In +Diya=India marks that it is the home of lamps, lights, colors, festivals, religions, colorful culture and traditions. Diya is an oil lamp made by clay used as lighting for every famous occasion in India. This land of festivals throughout the year offer popular festivals and all these festivals are at the heart of people’s lives in India. And Navratri is one of the warm, atmospheric and extremely social festivals, In eastern India, this festival is observed as Durga Puja.
The end of the rainy season heralds the beginning of the festive season all over India. We begin this season by celebrating the victory of good over evil, the victory of positivity over negativity. Amidst great festive fervor, the entire subcontinent of India prepares to welcome Goddess Durga to their home for nine nights, or Navratris. The Navratris are celebrated for nine nights and ten days and during this hallowed time, the three forms of the goddess, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, are summoned. This year, the Navratri festival is starting from September 21 and ending on September 29. All nine days, each form of the goddess is celebrated with great reverence. Navratri festival or Durga Pooja is a perfect mix of puja, colors, food, celebrations, dandiya dance and much more. There are nine Navratri colors for the nine days. Before illustrating what color you should wear on these nine days, let me explain the importance and reason behind of this most popular festival in India.
The Legend of Navratri or why is Navratri celebrated?
While Navratris are celebrated all over India, the legend behind the importance of Navratris varies from region to region. The most common legend states that during these 9 nights and 10 days, Goddess Durga had a fierce battle with the demon Mahishasura, who underestimated the power of the female form. It is believed that after a fierce battle of 9 days, the Goddess killed him on the 10th day. Another legend also commonly believed is that Lord Rama, after fasting for 9 days to seek the Goddess’ blessing for slaying the demon king Ravana, was able to kill to on the tenth day. Therefore, around the country, the tenth day of Navratris is commonly known as Dussehra – the day Lord Rama killed the 10-headed demon king Ravana.
Nine Forms of the Goddess & Nine Colors of Navratri
The nine days of Navratris are dedicated to celebrating the nine forms of the Goddess. The nine goddesses worshipped in these nine days have different attributes associated with them along with being worshipped through different colors. Colors have a lot of significance during the Navratris. Each year the Navratri colors for nine days changed and how these nine colors are decoded is simply depends on the day when the festival begins or when Ghatsthapna or Pratipada falls and remaining eight days follow a fixed cycle of colors. By following this rule we have calculated the nine colors of Navratri in 2017. The Navratri colors for the nine days are as follows:-
Navratri Colors for September 2017
The first day of Navratri, Goddess Shailaputri is worshipped. Goddess Shailaputri’s puja on day one of Navratri, also known as Pratipada, marks the beginning of the Navratris and people do ghatsthapana on this day. The idol of the Goddess is dressed up in bright red color on this day, so generally, it is thought that people should also wear the color red for auspiciousness on Day 1 of the Navratris.
The second day of Navratri is devoted to Goddess Bhrahmacharini Goddess Bhrahmacharini is known for the following strictness. Devotees are thus suggested that green is the most apt color for wearing on day two, also known as Dwitiya.
Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on Day 3, also known as Tritiya. Goddess Chandraghanta is known for properties such as peace and serenity combined with bravery as well. The Goddess dresses in gray on day three of Navratri; a color representing energy and enthusiasm.
Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped on day four as the fourth incarnation of Goddess Durga. She is draped in an orange dress and is worshipped as the creator of the whole universe.
Goddess Skandamata is worshipped on Panchami or the fifth day of the Navratri and she is known as the vanquisher of all demons. The Goddess is attired in the color white and devotees are supposed to wear this color today for all around auspiciousness.
Day 6 belongs to the worshipping of Goddess Katyayani and the ideal color to wear on this day is red. Day 6 is also known as Sashti and it falls on September 26th this year.
Day 7 or Saptami is hailed as the worship of Goddess Kaalratri who is known to protect her devotees from all negativity and troubles. She is known for granting freedom and happiness to her devotees. On Saptami, the Goddess is adorned in a Blue colored saree.
8. Maha Gauri
The eighth day of the Navratri puja is considered to be one of the two most auspicious days amongst all the nine days. Day 8 is celebrated as Goddess Maha Gauri’s day and one should wear pink on this day. Goddess Maha Gauri is revered on the eighth day or Navratri, popularly known as Durga Asthami or Maha Ashtami. The Goddess is adorned in a pink dress. Maha Gauri is known for forgiving the sins of her devotees.
The ninth day sees the culmination of this nine-day holy festival. Day 9 is known as Navami and devotees should wear purple on this day. It is the day of Goddess Sidddhidatri. Navratri puja is concluded with the worship of Goddess Siddhidatri who is attired in purple. Navami or the ninth day is when Kanya Puja is done where nine little girls are given worshipped as the nine forms of the Goddess.
These colors are decided based on the nine planets and each color is attributed to a planet associated with that particular day of the week generally. It is believed that by wearing the right colors for the right day, Goddess Durga will be pleased with her devotees and grant their boons faster.
Puja, Prasad, and Fasting – The Three Essentials of Navratri
Devotees wake up at the crack of dawn during the Navratri as there is a lot of work that needs to be done. After having a bath and wearing fresh clothes, they sit down for puja. The Goddess is offered fruits and delicacies that are later distributed as prasad amongst the devotees. As many devotees fast during this time, there is a custom of not consuming any non-vegetarian food, alcohol, cigarette and any cereals. Singhara and Kutu aata pooris and snacks are generally consumed.
Milk and fruits as well as dry fruits such as almonds, cashew and raisins are permitted to be had during the fasting period.
Once the Navratri fast is over, the entire worship and celebration culminate with the Kanya Pooja. In this nine little girls are worshipped as the avatars of the Nine Forms of Goddess Durga.
In the evening, festivities usually involve wearing colorful clothes and performing the garba, a dance form that originates in Gujarat. Navratri Dandiya, a dance involving rhythmic swinging with sticks, is also an extremely popular event during this time.
While there are many common recipes that are made specifically for the time period of the Navratri festival, one of the most common Navratri fasting food that we take at this time is Sabu dana khichdi. It is a fasting dish and tastes wonderful, spiced with tomatoes, cumin, and some coriander leaves.
Bidding the Goddess a Joyous Farewell
As all good things must come to an end, so the festival of Navratri also comes to its conclusion at the end of these nine nights. On the tenth day, with great joy and a pomp show of their happiness, the Goddess Durga is bid a warm farewell as she departs for her abode to the mysterious Mount Kailash. Devotees immerse the various statues of the Goddess into the rivers and waters around the country and bid her a tearful farewell, but the joy of seeing her return again next year remains in their hearts, ever hopeful that she will be granting all their wishes and hopes.
I hope you have enjoyed all the nine colors of Navratri. You may also have some interesting and colorful plans for this Navratri festivals share your thoughts with me, I’d love to know. More interesting posts on Navratri fasting food and rules are on the way. Stay tuned here.
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