Chaitra Navratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated all over the world. The festival is celebrated for 9 days. This year, Chaitra Navratri will begin on March 25 and will be concluded on April 1. The auspicious festival is celebrated in the month of Chaitra and each day is dedicated to nine different avatars of Goddess Durga. It is believed that during the Chaitra month, goddess Durga comes to stay with her devotees for nine days. The festival starts from the pratipada on the first day and ends on the navami or the ninth day of the Shukla Paksha in the Chaitra month. It is also known as Rama Navratri as the ninth day marks the birth of Lord Rama. Also Read - Chaitra Navratri 2020: Best Devotional Bhojpuri Songs

This festival begins with two auspicious occasions which include Gudi Padwa in Mahartashtra and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh. As per the mythological, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated as Goddess Durga stabbed Mahishasura with Shiva’s trident and beheaded him with a sword after nine days.

Check out the calendar of Chaitra Navratri 2020:

♦ March 25 (Wednesday) – Pratipada – Ghatasthapana, Chandra Darshan and Shailputri Puja

♦ March 26 (Thursday) – Dwitiya – Sindhara Dooj and Brahmacharini Puja

♦ March 27 (Friday) – Tritiya – Gauri Teej, Saubhagya Teej and Chandraghanta Puja

♦ March 28 (Saturday)- Chaturthi – Varad Vinayaka Chauth, Lakshmi Panchami and Kushmanda Puja

♦ March 29 (Sunday)- Panchami – Naag Puja, Skanda Sashti and Skandamata Puja

♦ March 30 (Monday)- Shashti – Yamuna Chhath and Katyayani Puja

♦ March 31 (Tuesday)- Saptami – Maha Saptami, Kalaratri Puja, Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja Annapurna Ashtami

♦ April 1 (Wednesday)– Ashtami/ Navami– Sandhi Puja and Rama Navami, Navratri Parana and Dashami

It also marks the beginning of Hindu New Year. It is believed that Lord Shiva granted permission to his wife Goddess Durga for seeing her mother for just nine days. During that time, Goddess Durga demolished demon Mahishasura. It is believed that Goddess Durga has eternal divine power, which can never be created nor destroyed. Devotees worship the three main manifestations of Goddess Shakti i.e Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi to seek their divine blessing.

Chaitra Navratri 2020: Rituals, Significance and Fasting

On the day one of Chaitra Navratri, one is supposed to take a bath early in the morning and clean the place of worship where the Kalash has to be kept. Spread a red cloth on a wooden seat and then keep some rice on the cloth while invoking Lord Ganesha, since he is the deity who is worshipped before commencing any Puja according to Hindu rituals. Next, make an altar using soil and sow Barley seeds in it. Now place the Kalash on this soil. Fill the Kalash with water and add betelnut, coin in the Kalash. Also, add some mango leaves in it.

Thereafter, use vermillion paste to make a Swastik sign on the Kalash. Fasten a holy thread on the neck of the Kalash. Finally, lid the Kalash and put some rice over it. Once you put the lid, take a coconut and tie a ‘Chunari’ over it. Likewise tie a holy thread, like you did with the Kalash. Keep this coconut on the lid of Kalash. Light an earthen lamp and pray to the Goddess.

After observing the first day rituals, one may fast partially or throughout the day if one wants to. Devotees are advised to avoid consumption of alcohol, non-vegetarian, onion, garlic, grains, wheat and spicy foods through the nine-day course.