Chaitra Navratri 2018 Dates
Navratri is a nine-day festival which holds immense significance for the Hindus. Moreover, it is also one of the most ancient festivals. The festival was held in its most elemental form even in prehistoric times as Maa Shakti was worshipped. In order to have the blessings of Maa Shakti in human life, Hindus worship Maa Durga and all her feminine aspects of divine femininity over nine days and nine nights. The essence of the festival has found its way into the collective consciousness of the devotees.
As most festivals are intertwined with their seasonal aspect, Navratri is hardly an exception. Navratri is held at the two most important junctions of the year - during the onset of spring season and again during the commencement of the winter season. Navratri is celebrated four times in a year, but the most significant in terms of public celebration and elaborate rituals are Chaitra and Sharad Navratri. Chaitra Navratri marks the first day of Luni-Solar calendar of the Hindus, which generally falls in March or April. Similarly, Sharad Navratri marks the glorious period starting during the months of September-October. The ninth day during Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated as Ram Navami as the birthday of Lord Rama while Sharad Navratri culminates in Dussehra or 'Vijayadashmi'.
Navratri 2018 Dates Information
Chaitra Navratri 2018 Dates
Chaitra Navratri: March 18, 2018 to March 26, 2018
Sharad Navratri 2018 Dates
Sharad Navratri: October 10, 2018 to October 18, 2018
In both Chaitra and Vasant Navratri, all nine days are dedicated to the worship of the nine forms of Maa Shakti with the elaborate customs and rituals. Chaitra Navratri is also known as ‘Vasant Navratri’ and is rooted in the legend of prince Sudarsana, who emerged victorious in war with the blessings of Maa Shakti and performed ‘havan’ in her honour during Vasanta Navratri. Sri Ram and Lakshman, during their ordeal to save Mata Sita from her captivity, performed a simiar 'havan' and emerged victorious in their task. Both Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri are dedicated to nine forms of Maa Shakti - Durga, Bhadrakali, Jagadamba, Annapurna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika and honour the nine forms of Maa Durga. During Sharad Navratri, VijayaDashmi is celebrated to mark Shri Rama’s victory over Ravana, creating an exhilarating mood.
The devotees sincerely worship the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga for nine days to overcome the effect of negative forces through her blessings and protection. Each day has its own significance as it is dedicated to one of her forms: Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. Devotees observe fasting, chant mantras, sing hymns, recite chapters from Markandeya Purana and sing devotional songs during Navratri to be blessed with prosperity, health and wisdom in their life. While fasting and praying is a strong practice, it is believed abstinence from alcoholic drinks, grains, wheat and onion help seekers to be better able to imbibe the traits that Maa Durga in her different forms represent. 'Jaagran' and 'Mata ki Chowki' are an integral part of the tradition to invoke the goddess name and to be in harmony with the divine energy of Maa Durga.
Chaitra Navratri 2018 Dates and Days Information
Navratri Day 1 - March 18, 2018 (Sunday) - Ghatsthapana, Shailputri Puja
Day 2 - March 19, 2018 (Monday) - Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja
Day 3 - March 20, 2018 (Tuesday) - Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja
Day 4 - March 21, 2018 (Wednesday) - Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja
Day 5 - March 22, 2018 (Thursday) - Panchami, Skandamata Puja
Day 6 - March 23, 2018 (Friday) - Shashthi, Katyayani Puja
Day 7 - March 24, 2018 (Saturday) - Saptami, Kalaratri Puja
Day 8 - March 25, 2018 (Sunday) - Ashtami, Sandhi Puja, Navami, Ram Navratri
Day 9 (Chaitra Navratri ends) - March 26, 2018 (Monday) - Dashami, Navratri Parana
As per the Hindu lunar calendar, Chaitra is the first month and the prevalence of new moon on the first day of Chaitra month is considered most propitious to bring in the Hindu New Year. Chaitra Navratri is held during Vasant Ritu or springtime, the beauty of which finds eloquent expressions in poems and classical songs. In the Northern part of India, Chaitra Navratri is known as Vasant Navratri is celebrated with full gusto. This year, Chaitra Navratri begins on March 18. Celebrate Chaitra Navratri 2018 with even more devotion by observing fast and chanting ‘shlokas’ that elevate your energy to have the eternal blessings from Maa Durga. The first day of Chaitra or Vasant Navratri also coincides with Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra and Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh.
Sharad Navratri coincides with the lunar month of Ashwin (September-October), and is held in the auspicious fortnight that stretches from the new moon to the full moon. Held in September or October, it thus marks the onset of winter season in India. It is also called ‘Maha Navratri’ as this is a more popular puja that resonates with every community throughout the country, especially in Northern, Western and Eastern India.
Navratri 2018 Celebrations
While in West Bengal, there is a profusion of activities around the well-decorated and themed pandals that house the clay idols of Maa Durga, in Gujarat, the dance forms of Raas Garba and Dandiya heighten the joy and elation that emanate from performing the fasting and rituals during the day. In Maharashtra, Ghatasthapana, the first ritual is formally celebrated. In the Punjab, 'kanjak' puja is an important part of Navaratri or ‘Navratra’ as it is known. In North India, ‘Ramlila’ which depicts scenes from the Ramayana is enacted to dramatic perfection during Dussehra.
In Tamil Nadu, step-like display of the goddesses called 'golu' is made and decorative rangoli and lights are lit. People celebrate this festival with sweets and also deem it an auspicious time to worship and buy tools and implements.
Mysore is the hub of grand festivities as the tradition was started by Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. The most important one is the procession of decorated elephants, camels and horses and the parade on Vijayadashami. In Kerala, this festival celebrates the wisdom in books and is an auspicious time to initiate educational activities. In Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, Bathukamma festival is celebrated.