Navratri 2018: Nine colours for nine days
Navratri, a Hindu festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, splendour and devotion throughout the country. The celebrations go on for nine days and nights and on the tenth day, Goddess Durga is immersed in holy water after nine days of the rituals. Navratri is observed as Durga Puja in the East and in various parts of Northeast India. The final day is referred to as Vijay Dashmi, Dusshera or Dasain.
Northern India and Western India celebrate it as the victory of King Rama over Ravana, which gave way to the proverb, “victory of good over evil.” Here it is celebrated through Ram Lila, Dandiya, and burning effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarana and son, Meghdoot.
Navratri arrives four times in the calendar year and is known as Vasant Navratri, Ashadha Navratri, Sharad Navratri and Magha Navratri. The most prominent, however, is Sharada Navaratri during the months of September-October, followed by Vasanta Navaratri during March-April.
As per mythological texts, the most prominently associated story with Navratri is the battle between Goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura, who represents egotism. All nine days of the festival are dedicated to a distinct avatar of the goddess, and each of these days has a colour assigned to it.
Mostly the colour of blood and fire, red has been associated with the Goddess, her aura, and her power. But there are some other colours as well that have a strong significance in terms of the nine days of Navratri. Each colour represents a different spirit and narrative in context of the many avatars of Goddess Durga. Read on to know more about each day, the colour of the day and what it stands for:
Day 1: Navratri starts with the worship of Goddess Shailputri, the first form of the Maa Durga. She is the daughter of Himalaya with the name Shailputri being a combination of words, Shail (mountain) and Putri (daughter). The colour of the first day is royal blue and it stands for calmness, wisdom and strength and devotees wear the colour and offer ghee as a bhog to the goddess.
Day 2: On the second day of Navratri, Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped and the colour associated with this day is yellow. Yellow is the color of brightness, happiness, and cheer and symbolizes strength. Devotees offer sugar as bhog to Goddess Brahmacharini.
Day 3: The day is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta, who symbolises peace and serenity. It is believed that praying to Maa Chandraghanta could alleviate all problems in your life. Associated with growth, nature, and energy, the colour of the day is green. Devotees on this day offer milk to the goddess.
Day 4: Devotees worship Goddess Kushmanda on day 4 and it’s believed that observing fast (upvas) on this day could cure one of pains and diseases. The colour associated with the fourth day is Grey. Maa Kushmanda wears a grey-coloured half-moon on her forehead. The colour also stands for her feisty nature where she’s determined to destroy the foes of her devotees, the perpetrators of darkness.
Day 5: The fifth day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata and the colour of the day is Orange. This colour stands for happiness and energy. Bhog in the form of fruits, especially banana is offered to Maa.
Day 6: Goddess Katyayani is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri and white is the colour of the day which symbolises peace, purity and victory against darkness and evil forces. Honey is offered as bhog to please the goddess.
Day 7: Seventh day of Navratri is dedicated to the Goddess Kaalratri. Devotees wear the colour of fire and blood, red which symbolises action and vigor. Devotees offer jiggery (gur) as bhog.
Day 8: Devotees worship Goddess Mahagauri on day 8 of Navratri. It’s also called Maha Ashtami. Worshipping this avatar of maa is believed to help mitigate ones sins. The colour associated with the day is Pink and signifies hope and a fresh perspective. The bhog contains coconut.
Day 9: Day 9 or Navami, is the last day of Navratri, dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri. Devotees break their nine-day fast and worship all nine forms of Goddess Durga. Devotees also worship kanyas on this day as they’re considered to be the human forms of Maa. The colour for day 9 is Purple which symbolises ambition and power.