Navratri is a festival celebrated by people who follow the Shakti sect of Hinduism. It is celebrated throughout India, and is famous for its social as well as religious importance.
The word Navratri means nine nights. During this period the
nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. This pious period occurs four times a year:
- Chaitra Navratri
- Sharad Navratri(most significant and widely celebrated)
- Maha Gupta Navratri
- Ashadha Gupta Navratri
The nine forms of the Goddess Durga worshiped during the period of Navratri are:
Day 1: Shailaputri
Goddess Shailaputri is the absolute form of Mother Nature.
Day 2: Brahmacharini
The goddess Brahmacharini wears white clothes, holds a japa mala(rosary) in her right hand and Kamandal, a water utensil in her left hand.
Day 3: Chandraghanta
She is believed to reward people with her grace, bravery and courage. By her grace all the sins, distresses, physical sufferings, mental tribulations and ghostly hurdles of the devotees are eradicated.
Day 4: Kushmanda
She is believed to improve health and bestow wealth and strength.
Day 5: Skandamata
Her name comes from word, Skanda is another name for war god Kartikeya and Mata is the term for mother.
Day 6: Katyayini
She is associated with the fierce forms of Durga.
Day 7: Kaalratri
She is regarded as one of the many destructive forms of Mother Goddess.
Day 8: Mahagauri
She has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees.
Day 9: Siddhidaatri
She fulfills all the divine aspirations and completes the mundane.
On the tenth day, the idol of the Goddess is immersed in water.