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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > Significance of Navratri

Significance of Navratri (17th to 25th October 2020)


Significance of Navratri

The festival of Navratri will be celebrated between 17th to 25th of October in the year 2020. Navratri is celebrated as a Nine Day period of worship in most states of North India, dedicated to the nine forms of the Hindu deity Durga. The tenth day is the festival of Dussehra. Read on to know about the significance of Navratri and how it is celebrated. 


Navratri is a combination of two words. 'Nav' means nine while 'Ratri' means night. Therefore, this celebration is literally translated as 'nine nights'. The celebrations begin on the first day of the month of Ashvin according to the Hindu calendar. They culminate in the festival of Dussehra, on the tenth day of the month. As per the Gregorian calendar, Navratri always falls in the month of October. The exact date differs from year to year though.


Why is Navratri Celebrated?

The festival of Dussehra is celebrated to worship the Goddess Durga. She is the embodiment of Devi, or the supreme Goddess. The form of the Goddess Durga is said to symbolise creative energy and the feminine body. This form of the Goddess has nine aspects. Navratri therefore is dedicated to the worship of these aspects. Each form or aspect of the Goddess has its own day dedicated to it. 

The Navratri celebrations are devoted to the worship of the Eternal mother, which has its origins in the Vedas. Durga is also considered to be a combination of the Trinity of Goddesses. They are Saraswati, Parvati, and Lakshmi. During Navratri, these three main Goddesses are worshipped as well. The central theme of Navratri though is the triumph of good over evil.


Celebration of Nine Days of Navratri

Navratri lasts for nine whole days. However, each day has a special significance and is celebrated separately. Along with the nine forms of Durga, obeisance is paid to the Trinity of Goddesses as well. 

1st to 3rd  Day of Navratri

The first three days are dedicated solely to the worship of the Goddess Durga. During this period, her energy and power are worshipped. Each day is dedicated to a different manifestation of Durga. On the first day, Kumari is worshipped, which signifies the girl child. The second day is dedicated to Parvati, who is the embodiment of a young woman. On the third day, Kali is worshipped. This form represents the woman who has reached maturity. 

On the first day of Navratri, barley seeds are planted in a small bed of mud. This mud bed is kept in the pooja room. By the tenth day, each seed has sprouted into a shoot which is between three and five inches long. After the pooja is performed on the tenth day, the shoots are plucked and given to the attendees. They are said to be a blessing from God. 

4th to 6th  Day of Navratri

These three days are devoted to the worship of Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and peace. Although these days are dedicated to Lakshmi, the Goddess Saraswati is invoked on the fifth day. This day is referred to as Lalita Panchami. On this day, all the books and other literature are gathered in one place. Then, a 'Diya' or lamp is lit in front of them to call upon the Goddess Saraswati. 

7th to 8th  day of Navratri

The seventh day is dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the Goddess of art and knowledge. Prayers are offered to her, seeking spiritual knowledge. The knowledge of the spiritual world is said to free us from our earthly bonds. This, in turn, will bring us closer to God. 

On the eight day, a 'yagna' is performed. This comprises a sacrifice, which is offered to the sacred fire. The sacrifice honours the Goddess Durga as well as bids her farewell. The sacrifice or offering is made out of clarified butter (ghee), rice pudding (kheer), and sesame seeds. 

9th Day of Navratri

The ninth day is the culmination of the entire Navratri celebrations. This day is referred to as 'Mahanavami'. On this day, a Kanya pooja is performed. Nine young girls, who have not yet attained puberty, are worshipped during this Puja. Each one of them symbolises one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Each girl’s feet are washed as a mark of respect for the Goddess. At the end of the pooja, each girl is given a set of new clothes as a gift from the devotees.


FAQs Related to Navratri Celebration

Take a quick look at some questions that people have related to the significance and celebration of the Navratri festival.

What is the significance of fasting during Navratri?

Navratri is one of the important festivals of years during which the devotees fast to seek the blessing of Goddess Durga. Fasting on the occasion of Navratri is known to bring good luck, prosperity and happiness in the life of an individual. Some devotees fast through the nine days of Navratri and some fast only on the first day i.e; on the day of Prathama and the eight day i.e; on the day of Ashtami. Fasting on the occasion of Navratri is known to invoke shakti in an individual’s body. Invoking the shakti in an individual’s body is known to help in the cleansing of Aatma or soul. The cleansing of Aatma or soul is very important to help an individual walk on the path of salvation.

How to fast during the nine days of Navratri?

The following steps should be followed while fasting during Navratri.

  • One must clean the entire house a day before the festival.

  • On the day of fast, one must take a head bath. Although, taking head bath everyday would not be possible one can take bath from head as per his or her convenience during the festival.

  • One must keep the mind and body clean.

  • One must pray to Goddess Durga after having a bath.

  • Some devotees also worship the idol of Goddess Durga at their homes or do Ghatasthapana.

  • Those who do not bring the idols of Goddess Durga at home or those who do not do Ghatasthapana Puja can visit the Navratri Utsav Pandals or the temple of Goddess Durga on this occasion.

  • One must eat Farali Ahar on the day of fast.

  • One can fast by eating only Farali Aahar throughout the day or break the fast by having Satvik Aahar at night. 

  • One can fast through the nine days or only during the day of Prathama and Ashtami.

  • One can fast by eating only Farali Aahar through nine days of Navratri or fast everyday by breaking fast every night by consuming Satvik Aahar.


How to do Ghatasthapana Puja on the occasion of Navratri?

  • You can follow the below mentioned steps for doing Ghatasthapana Puja on the occasion of Navratri.

  • Clean the place which you are going to use for doing the Puja and purify it by sprinkling Ganga Jal or Gomutra.

  • Take a Chowki and place a clean cloth over it.

  • Place a photo of Goddess Durga on it.

  • Offer Tilak on the Photo of Goddess Durga and put garland on it.

  • Offer all the items of Sringar like Green Bangles, Tika etc.

  • Offer Sweets as Naivedyam.

  • Take an earthen Kalash and draw a Swastika on it with vermillion.

  • Tie a holy thread on the neck of the Kalash.

  • Take five mango leaves and put a Tika of vermillion and sandal on it.

  • Take an earthen pot filled with mud and sow barley and wheat in it.

  • Sprinkle water on it.

  • Place the Kalash in the centre of this vessel.

  • Put water in the Kalash along with the five dried barks of turmeric, coins, Gomti Chakra, seeds of lotus leaves and Durva in it.

  • Arrange the mango leaves on which you had put Tilka previously in the Kalash.

  • Place a lid of the Kalash filled with barley on the Top of the Kalash.

  • Take coconut and draw a Swastika on it with vermillion.

  • Take a red cloth and wrap it around the coconut.

  • Tie the holy colourful thread (Moli) around the coconut which is wrapped in cloth.

  • Place the coconut on the Kalash in such a way that its face is facing towards you.

  • Put garland on the Kalash.

  • Place this arrangement on the left-side of the chowki.

  • Prepare an Akhand-Jyot and place it on the right side of the Goddess Durga’s chowki (Make sure that the Akhand-Jyot is lit continuously for nine days).

  • After all the arrangement is done, do Aarti and recite Durga Saptashati.

Watch this video to know how to do Ghatasthapana Puja on the occasion of Navratri.




For how many times is Navratri celebrated throughout the year?

Navratri is celebrated twice every year during the month of Chaitra and in the month of Ashvin. Chaitra is one of the months of Hindu Calendar which falls between April and March as well as Ashvin falls between September and October. One of the unique significance of Chaitra Navratri is that it begins on Gudi Padwa and ends on Ram Navami. Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasant Navratri whereas Navratri which falls in Ashvin is also known as Sharadiya Navratri. The significance of both the Navratris is the same but Navratri which falls in the month of Ashvin is celebrated on a large scale. In Ashvin, pandals are raised at many different palaces and people dance to the tunes of the traditional dance forms like Garbha and Dandiya.

What should devotees avoid doing during Navratri?

The devotees who are observing fast during Navratri should abstain from doing certain things. Listed below are the things that should be avoided.

  • Devotees should avoid cutting finger and toenails.

  • Devotees should also avoid doing haircuts and shaving.  

  • Devotees should avoid sleeping in the afternoon as the good karma which is gained by fasting gets destroyed due to sleeping.

  • Devotees should not starve while fasting. They should eat Farali foods like milk, fruits and dried fruits.

  • Devotees should avoid eating fried foods.

  • Devotees should only eat Satvik Bhoojan which means they should only consume foods that are made without using ginger, garlic and onion while breaking fast.

  • They should avoid cutting and consuming lemon.

  • They should avoid eating sour foods like pickle, curd etc.

  • They should avoid eating non-vegetarian foods.

What is Gupt Navratri?

Ideally, Navratri falls four times in a year but it is celebrated only twice a year during the month of Chaitra and Ashvin. Navratri which falls during the Ashadh and Magh month is known as Gupt Navratri. The devotees who are enthusiastic about this festival of Goddess Durga observe this festival four times a year to seek her blessings.


Which Goddess is worshipped on each day of Navratri?

  • Listed below are the names of the Goddesses that are worshiped during each day of Navratri.

  • The Goddess that is worshiped on the first day of Navratri is known as Goddess Shailaputri (Daughter of Mountains) which is actually the name of Goddess Parvati.

  • On the second day Goddess Bramhacharini is worshipped. She is one of the forms of Goddess Durga which symbolises Tapa or penance.

  • Maa Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. This form of Goddess Durga can take both benevolent as well as the violent form.

  • On the fourth day Goddess Kushmanda is worshiped. This form of Goddess Durga is known to be a creator of the universe.

  • Goddess Skandamata is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. This form of Goddess Durga is worshipped as an epitome of a mother.

  • On the sixth day of Navratri, Goddess Katyayani is worshipped. She is worshipped as she had put an end to the havoc created by the demon Mahishasur by killing him.

  • Goddess Kalratri is worshipped on the seventh day of Navratri. She is worshipped as the remover of darkness and ignorance.

  • On the eight day of Navratri Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped. She is worshipped to strengthen faith and gain loyalty in relationships.

  • Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the ninth day of Navratri. She is worshipped as the giver of health, wealth, prosperity and abundance.

Nine Colours for the Nine Days of Navratri 2020

Let us take a look at the nine colours which can be worn on each day of Navratri in the year 2020.


DateDayColourSignificance of the Colour
17th October, 2020Pratipada (Ghatasthapana)GreyGrey colour stands for strength and transformation.
18th October, 2020DwitiyaOrangeThis colour stands for knowledge, serenity and brightness.
19th October, 2020TritiyaWhiteThis colour stands for peace, purity and tranquillity.
20th October, 2020ChaturthiRedThis colour symbolizes passion, strength, sacredness and radiance.
21st October, 2020PanchamiRoyal BlueRoyal Blue colour stands for divine energy and godliness. 
22nd October, 2020ShashtiYellowThis colour represents happiness, joy and festivities.
23rd October, 2020SaptamiGreenThis colour represents prosperity and nourishment.
24th October, 2020AshtamiPeacock GreenThis colour signifies good luck.
25th October, 2020NavamiPurplePurple colour represents vibrance, energy and ambitiousness.

What is the significance of the day of Ashtami during Navratri?

The day of Ashtami holds a great significance during Navratri. This day is dedicated to the Mahagauri form of Goddess Durga. An Ashtami Havan is performed on this day which is considered to be very sacred. A holy thread is tied on the hands of the devotees who perform and are present for the Havan ceremony. This day is also known as Maha Ashtami. Virashtami or Durga Ashtami. Kanya Pujan is also observed on this day. On this holy day Astra Puja is also performed.

Navratri is the festival which is celebrated with great fervour and joy. It is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Hindu community to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga who is the supreme power. So, if you are an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga, do her Upasana during Navratri, seek her blessings, enjoy the festivities and bring joy, happiness and prosperity in your life. 


What is the significance of Navratri? How do you and your family celebrate Navratri? Do you take your kids to play Dandiya or Garba during Navratri? Discuss here.



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Swati Piramal
Swati Piramal.7 years ago
Navratri is a fun festival and its a great time for having fun with friends. We hang out at different places and have4 real fun. I always go to Goregaon sports club where a big event is organized for dandiya
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Shomita
Shomita.7 years ago
I am a Bengali so we have durg puja instead of dandiya. Worshipping maa Durga gives a new high. We visit many pandals and get Maa's blessings. We also get new dresses for 4 days, starting from 6 the day
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zinnia
zinnia.7 years ago
I like this festival very much as i get to wear new dresses. We have dandiya orgainzed in our own compound. it is so much fun to be with all the friends.
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