9 Days of Chaitra Navratri celebrated mostly in the month of April coincides with the Hindu new year, Navavarsha, for hindus worldwide. Chaitra Navratri celebrates Maa Shakti or Durga, who is worshipped in three primary forms - Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. During Chaitra Navratri, a different goddess figure is dedicated to each day. Each Navratri day has various rituals and puja vidhi. Chaitra Navratri is observed by fasting through the day and eating after sunsets. In the nine days preceding the festival, vegetarian and alcoholic foods are avoided.
The history and significance of the Hindu festival are celebrated over the 9 days of Chaitra Navratri. The nine manifested forms are each revered during the festival for one night. Shailaputri , Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri are the nine forms of Parvati. A celebration of Navratri is named after the Goddess Durga who defeated Mahishasura in a battle. "Nav" means nine, and "Ratri" means nights.
Throughout the country, especially in the North, people observe a fast, perform pujas and make various sweets in Chaitra Navratri. To mark each avatar of goddess Durga, people conduct special pujas and recite auspicious mantras.
Day 1 is Pratipada : On the first day of Navratri, Maa Shailputri is worshipped and honoured by devotees, and 'Ghatasthapana' is performed on this day.
The auspicious colour for the day is red.
Day 2 is Dwitiya : The second day of Navratri is dedicated to Maa Brahmacharini and all devotees worship and offer their prayers to Maa Brahmcharini.
Royal blue is considered the auspicious colour for the second day of Navratri.
Day 3 is Tritiya : The third day of Navratri is dedicated to Maa Chandraghanta. She is revered for her strength and courage by devotees as she grants courage to her devotees who pray Maa Chandraghanta with true devotion.
Yellow is considered an auspicious colour for the third day of Navratri.
Day 4 is Chaturthi : Devotees offer their prayers on this day to Maa Kushmanda, the mother goddess's fourth avatar. Maa Kushmandra grants her devotees with fame and long life.
Green is considered an auspicious colour for the fourth day of Navratri.
Day 5 is Panchami : On the 5th day i.e. Panchami, prayers are offered to Maa Skandmata. When Maa Parvati gave birth to Skanda which is another name of Lord Kartikeya, her name became Devi Skandamata. She protects her devotees from all types of harm just like a mother protects her children from all types of harms.
The auspicious colour for the fifth day of Navratri is grey.
Day 6 is Shashthi : On the 6th day, devotees offer prayers and honour Maa Katyayani, the sixth form of Maa Durga. Maa Katyayani is a symbol of power and grants all her devotees with happiness and a trouble free life. Maa Durga took the form of Katyayani to kill the powerful demon Mahishasura.
For the sixth day of Navratri, orange is considered an auspicious colour.
Day 7 is Saptami : On the 7th day of Navratri, prayers are offered to Maa Kalaratri, the fiercest form of Maa Durga. Maa Kalaratri is the one who is the destroyer of all types of negative energies, slayer of all demons and devils.
White is considered the auspicious colour for the seventh day of Navratri.
Day 8 is Ashtami : Eigth day of Navratri is popularly known as Durgashtami. On this day, devotees worship Maa Mahagauri and offer prayers to Maa. White jasmine flowers are considered auspicious for offering to Maa Mahagauri. Maa Mahagauri helps all her devotees in overcoming obstacles and grants her devotees with wisdom and purity. It is considered the planet Rahu is governed by Maa Mahagauri.
Pink is considered an auspicious colour for the eighth day of Navratri.
Day 9 is Rama Navami : The last day of Navaratri, also called Ram Navami, is a festive day. This day marks the birth of Lord Ram, according to the scriptures. On the 9th day of Navratri, devotees offer prayers to Maa Siddhidatri. Those who worship Maa Siddhidatri get success, wealth, and glory in their life.
Sky blue is considered an auspicious colour for the ninth day of Navratri.