Nine Avatars of Maa Durga, Tithi's and  Rituals of Navratri

Navratri - a time to celebrate the divine power of Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga symbolizes divine feminine energy/shakti. In some parts of India, Navratri is also known as Durga Puja. It is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The 10th day is celebrated as Dussehra, which is also known as Vijay-Dashmi.

Maa Durga in all her majesty
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri has a peculiarity when compared to other festivals. All 9 days of Navratri is celebrated in different colors. The different colours symbolize the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. The first colour of the Navratri is decided based on the week day when the festival begins. In this dangerously fast world, everyone is hooked up to their devices or engrossed with their cyber life on social media. Work and life demands so much from us. Here is where Navratri is significant.

Do you know: Why and how is Kanya Puja done during Durga Puja?

Navratri is the time that you withdraw yourself from all distractions and stress and to just be at peace with yourself and the world. Withdraw from the mind, and rest in the spirit. It is the time to rejuvenate your mind and body. Practicing abstinence and fasting help slow down bodily functions. Taking part in pujas, meditation and chanting mantras helps slow down the mind. It helps attract positive energy to you.  Navratri is also a time to wear colorful clothes, look your best and let your hair down. 

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Navratri Day 1 is celebrated to honour Goddess Shailaputri.

Maa Shailaputri is the absolute form of Mother Nature. She is also known as Goddess Parvati. The designated color of the day is Royal Blue.
Tithi: Pratipada
Rituals: Ghatasthapana, Chandra Darshan, Shailputri Puja

Goddess Durga in one of her avatars
(Image Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Navratri Day 2 is celebrated to honour Goddess Brahmacharini

 Brahmacharini refers to a celibate female who lives in an Ashrama with her Guru along with other brahmacharini students. She is depicted wearing white clothes and holding a japa mala and a Kamandal. The designated color of the day is Yellow.
Tithi: Dwitiya
Rituals: Brahmacharini Puja  

Deities galore for all your wishes
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri Day 3 is celebrated to honour Goddess Chandraghanta

Chandraghanta's third eye is always opened and she always ready for war against demons to eradicate sins, distresses, physical sufferings and mental tribulations. The designated color of the day is Green
Tithi: Tritiya
Rituals: Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja, Varad Vinayaka Chauth

Seeking blessings of goddess Durga
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri Day 4 is celebrated to honour Goddess Kushmanda

She is believed to have created the world with her divine smile. Ku means "a little", Ushma means "warmth" or "energy" and Anda means "cosmic egg". The designated color of the day is Grey. 
Tithi: Chaturthi
Rituals: Kushmanda Puja, Upang Lalita Vrat

Maa Durga wins over the evil in this world
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri Day 5 is celebrated to honour Goddess Skandamata

Skanda is another name for war god Kartikeya and Mata is the term for mother. The designated color of the day is Orange
Tithi: Panchami
Rituals: Skandamata Puja

Sculpted to perfection
(Image Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Navratri Day 6 is celebrated to honour Goddess Katyayani. She is known for her strength, knowledge and wisdom. She is known to bless devotees with an inherent strength to face life's tribulations. The designated color of the day is White
Tithi: Sashti
Rituals: Katyayani Puja

Image Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS

Navratri Day 7 is celebrated to honour Goddess Kalaratri

Goddess Kalaratri is widely regarded as one of the many destructive forms of Mother Goddess Durga.The seventh day of Navratri is dedicated to her and she is considered the fiercest form of the Mother Goddess. The designated color of the day is Red.
Tithi: Saptami
Rituals: Saraswati Awahan, Kalaratri Puja

The ultimate defeat of demon Mahishasura by Durga devi
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri Day 8 is celebrated to honour Goddess Mahagauri

Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. It is believed that the one who worships the goddess gets relief from all the sufferings in ones life. The designated color of the day is Sky blue.
Tithi: Ashtami
Rituals: Saraswati Puja, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja

In the fight of good over evil, good wins!
(Image Source: IANS)

Navratri Day 9 is celebrated to honour Goddess Siddhidatri

Goddess Siddhidarti is believed to grants wisdom and insight to those who appeal to her.  She is associated with all achievements and perfections. The designated color of the day is Pink.
Tithi: Navami
Rituals: Maha Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa

Durga Puja sculptures at their finest
(Image Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Navratri Day 10

The 10th day is celebrated as Dussehra, which is also known as Vijay- Dashmi. It is celebrated to mark the victory of mythical King Lord Rama over the King of Sri Lanka, Ravana.
Tithi: Dashami
Rituals: Navratri Parana Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami