New Delhi: The nine day festival of Navratri is here which celebrates the victory of good over evil by Goddess Durga. Today is the first day of Navratri and it marks the auspicious occasion of Shardiya Navratri or Sharad Navratri. There are five known types of Navratri falling in a year, out of which Sharad Navratri or Shardiya Navratri is the most significant one.
Shardiya Navratri starts on the pratipada or first day of the lunar month of Ashwin. The dates of Navratri vary each year depending upon the Hindu Lunar calendar.
On Day 1 of Navratri, goddess Shailputri is worshipped. During these 9 days of festivity, different avatars of goddess Durga are evoked and prayed to. People are dressed in their colourful best to mark the occasion.
SIGNIFICANCE OF SHARAD NAVRATRI
Sharad Navratri is regarded by many devotees to be the most important one and is also therefore called Maha Navratri. It is celebrated during the Sharad period i.e. beginning of wintertime so it is also referred to as Sharad or Shardiya Navratri. This form of Navratri takes place during Sharad Ritu.
The practise of worshipping the mother goddess and the legend behind it varies from place-to-place as India is a diverse land and so is our culture.
Navratri and Durga Puja are widely celebrated in the country and there are many legends associated with the festival.
Durga Puja and Sharad Navratri or Sharadiya Navratri coincide and are widely celebrated not just in the country but abroad by the Indian diaspora as well.
Usually, Durga Puja begins six days after Mahalaya but this year it is different due to mala maas - lunar month having two moons. This year, Mahalaya, which is the beginning of the Devi Paksha and end of the Pitru Paksha, took place on October 6 and Durga Puja starts from October 11.