This year Chaitra Navratri will be from March 18 and will finish by March 26. Each day has its own significance and each day is devoted to the different avatar of Goddess Durga.‘Navratri’ literally means ‘nine-nights’ and is celebrated with great fervour by Hindus. There are four ‘Navratris’ in a year – Sharada Navratri, Vasanta Navratri, Magha Navratri and Ashada Navratri. The last two are known as ‘Gupta’ Navratris as these are celebrated only by spiritual aspirants. According to the Gregorian calendar, Vasanta Navratri, also known as Chaitra Navratri.
Each day is signified to a different forms of Durga. On the first day of Navratri, Ghatasthapana is done. The clothes should be of yellow color. One has to wear only Yellow color clothes while performing the rituals. The Goddess which is worshipped on the first day of Navratri is Goddess Shailputri. She is the daughter of King of Mountains. People who fast on the very first day of Navratri worship this Goddess.Goddess Shailaputri is depicted with two hands and has a crescent moon on her forehead. She holds a trident in her right hand and a lotus flower in the left. She rides on mount Nandi (bull). The Goddess which is the first avatar of the Goddess Durga is worshipped as it is the Goddess of purity. Goddess Shailputri is often worshipped with Lord Shiva as it is said that she was the wife of Lord Shiva.According to mythology after the self-immolation as Goddess Sati, Goddess Parvati took birth as the daughter of Lord Himalaya. In Sanskrit Shail means the mountain and due to which Goddess was known as Shailputri, the daughter of the mountain. It is believed that the Moon, the provider of all fortunes, is governed by Goddess Shailputri and any bad effect of the Moon can be overcome by worshipping this form of Adi Shakti.
Kartikeya and Ganesh were her sons. She holds Trishul in her hand and a lotus in other hand. It is said that she looks after the humans, plants, animals and even the small organism on the earth. The first day of Navratri is known as pratipada. During the Puja on the first day of Navratri one has to wear Yellow clothes. It is usually preferred that people should wear clothes that are necessary. People in almost every place keep fast. This is usually celebrated in almost every city of the country. This Goddess is considered as the true goddess of root chakra. People observe fast on these days. Some people keep fast for all the nine days whereas some keep fast for only one or two days. It is often said that by keeping fast for the Goddess Durga, the sins of the previous birth is removed. People must keep all the things in mind. Puja and chanting the name of Goddess is very necessary.
Chaitra Navratri is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh. Dedicated to the power of Goddess Durga, the auspicious festival this year. Gudi Padwa, which marks the arrival of Spring, is being celebrated with great enthusiasm by Maharashtra on Sunday. This spring-time festival marks the traditional new year for Marathi Hindus. The ‘Gudi’, which means ‘doll’ is created by Maharashtrians, with six ingredients that symbolize new beginnings. People celebrate the festival by offering special prayers and preparing an array of culinary preparations. Puran Poli and Kheer are two such preparations which prepared in Maharashtrian families celebrating Gudi Padwa.The word Padwa is derived from the Sanskrit word Paddava, which means the first day of the bright phase of the moon. A stick decorated with a bright cloth, neem leaves and garlands is unfurled outside a Maharashtrian household and hence, it got the name Gudi Padwa.