Navratri is one of the most auspicious festivals of the Hindus and is observed twice a year – September – October, and March – April. This year Navrati will be celebrated from Sunday , 18 March and ends on Monday , 26 March 2018. In Navratri, which is the festival of nine nights, people worship Goddess Durga. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over the evils that lie within us. Thus it helps an individual to attain a superior state of existence. Apart from the rituals of fasting, there is also a custom of wearing specific colors of attires on the nine days of the festival. As per tradition, the nine nights are dedicated to the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. A unique aspect of the worship is that the idol is draped with a dress of a specific color to symbolize a specific avatar. The tradition of dressing in the same color as that of the avatar has evolved over the years.
The Goddess Durga is worshiped on all nine days of the festival so that she may usher in prosperity and good luck. The first day of Navratri, which is also known as Ghastasthapana, witnesses the holy pooja of the Goddess. The day is very auspicious as it is the start of the festival. The Goddess is dressed in orange attire on this day. According to tradition, people wear clothes of orange color on this day.
The second day on which Goddess Durga is Worshiped as Brahmacharini, is known as Dwitiya. On this day, people worship the Goddess so that she bestows upon them emancipation, as well as prosperity. On this day people wear attires of white color. This form of the Goddess is considered to be extremely pious.
The third day of Navratri is known as Tritiya. On this day Goddess Durga is worshiped as Chandraghanta. Chandraghanta symbolizes bravery and fortitude. On this day the Goddess is dressed in a red saree.
The fourth day of Navratri is known as Chaturthi and on this day Goddess Durga is worshiped in the form of Kushmanda. It is believed that as the Goddess laughed, the universe generated. On this day, the Goddess is dressed in royal blue and people can be seen wearing attire that are of the same color.
The day five of the festival is known as Panchami. On this day, the Goddess is worshiped as Skandamata, the mother of Kartikeya. People worship the goddess so that she may usher in peace and prosperity into their home. People seek the blessings of the Goddess. Yellow is the color of this day and devotees should be dressed in this color.
Day six is known as Sashti. Green is the color of the day and people are advised to wear attires of this color on Sashti. On this Day, people worship Goddess Durga in the form of Katyayani. According to a legend sage Katya wanted to welcome the Goddess as his daughter. To please the Goddess, Katya performed many formalities. The Goddess was finally pleased with Katya and took birth in his home as his daughter and was known as Katyayani.
Day seven is known as Saptami. On this day, Goddess Durga is worshiped in the form of Kalratri. Kalratri, who is also known as Subhankari, means a dark and black knight. The Goddess not only protects her worshipers from all kinds of troubles and negativity of life, but also provides them with utmost happiness. Grey is the color to wear on the seventh day that is Saptami.
Day eighth is known as Ashtami. On this day, Goddess Durga is worshiped as Maha Gauri. The attire that devotes will wear on this day should be of purple color. The Goddess purifies her worshipers and also forgives their sins. The Goddess as Maha Gauri performed a penance so that she may have Lord Shiva as her husband. During the course of the penance, dust accumulated on her body and Lord Shiva washed it with the sacred waters of the Ganga. Saraswati Mata Puja is also organized on this day.
Day nine is known as Navami and it is the last day of the festival. On this day, people worship the Goddess as she bestows prosperity on all her devotees. Peacock Green is the color of the day and devotees should dress in attire that is of this color.
So as you head out to participate in the evening aarti or dandia rass, be sure to be dressed in the colour as ordained for this year. Happy Navaratri!
Last Updated: 16th Feb, 2018