Navratri means nine nights. This festival is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Durga during nine nights and ten days.
The significance of each day
Day 1: Shailaputri
Also, known as Pratipada, this day is associated with Shailaputri, which is an incarnation of Parvati. It is in this form that the Goddess is worshiped as the consort of Shiva.
The Goddess is depicted as riding a Bull, with a Trishul in her right hand and Lotus in left. Shailaputri symbolizes the collective power of the Hindu Trinity i.e Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.
The color of the day is red. It represents action and strength.
Day 2: Brahmcharini
On this day, Goddess Brahmcharini is worshiped. In this form, Parvati became Sati. Brahmcharini is worshiped for liberation or moksha & endowment of peace and prosperity.
The Goddess is depicted as walking bare feet and holding a japamala & kamandalu in her hands. She symbolizes ecstasy and peace. The color of the day is Royal Blue that depicts calmness plus energy.
Day 3: Chandraghanta
The Goddess is the personification of beauty. She is the symbol of bravery, and therefore the color of the day is Yellow.
Day 4: Kushmunda
Goddess Kushmunda is worshiped on Chaturthi. Kushmunda is believed to be the creative power of universe. She is associated with the vegetation on earth and therefore, the color of the day is Green.
Day 5: Skandmata
Skandmata, is the mother of Kartikeya. The Grey color symbolizes the transforming strength of a mother when her child is in danger. She is depicted as riding a ferocious Lion, having four arms, and holding her baby.
Day 6: Katyayani
Katya is an incarnation of Durga. She exhibits courage, which is symbolized by the color Orange. She is considered as one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. So, the Devi rides a lion and has four hands.
Day 7: Kalratri
Maa Kali is considered to be the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga. It is believed that Parvati removed her fair skin to kill the demons Sumbh & Nisumbh.
Day 8: Mahagauri
Mahagauri represents intelligence & peace. The color associated with this day is Pink. It depicts optimism.
Day 9: Sidhidatri
The last day of the festival is also known as Navami, people pray to Siddhidaatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to have all type of Siddhis. Here, she has four hands.
There are four types of Navratri:
- Sharada Navaratri: It is named after sharada which means autumn. It is celebrated in post-monsoon i.e the month of September to October. In many regions, the festival falls after autumn harvest, and in others during harvest.
- Vasanta Navaratri: It is named after vasanta which means spring. It is observed in post-winter, i.e the month of March to April.
- Magha Navaratri: in Magha i.e January to February, winter season. The fifth day of this festival is often independently observed as Vasant Panchami, the official start of spring in the Hindu tradition. In some regions, the Hindu god of love, Kama is respected.
- Ashada Navaratri: in Ashadha i.e June to July, start of the monsoon season.