According to some Hindu texts such as the Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas, Navaratri theoretically falls twice or four times a year. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri near autumn equinox (September-October) is the most celebrated, and the Vasanta Navaratri near spring equinox (March-April) is next most significant to the culture of Indian subcontinent. In all cases, Navaratri falls in the brighter half of the Hindu luni-solar months.
Navratri or Navratras is mostly associated with nine day fasting. But it’s significance goes beyond that. Navratras provide twice a year opportunity to cleanse, purify and retain new energies for the changing weather….all if ‘sadhana’ is done right. Draining impurities to ready oneself to receive divine blessings. The festival is also connected to importance of colours for each of the nine days.
DAY 1- Pratipada
The first day is dedicated to Shailputri. Denoting nature, the colour depicting this day is Yellow- a symbol of happiness and joy. The seeker prays and meditates on the colour in order to invite happiness into his/her life.
DAY 2- Dutiya
This is the day of Brahmacharni. It denotes constant endeavour for spiritual knowledge. The colour for the day is Green. Goddess Parvati is known to have performed ‘tapasya’ to bring Shiva as her husband. Concentrating on Green colour is must to acquire this knowledge.
DAY 3- Tritiya
The third day is dedicated to Devi Chandraghanta, carrying the grey half moon on her forehead. Meditating on Grey colour, which is the colour of this day represents Devi’s readiness to diminish evil, anger, unbridled desires and ill will.
Day 4- Chaturthi
The fourth day is dedicated to Goddess Kushmanda, representing brightness, the Sun and energy. She is depicted as having eight arms and sits on a Tiger. Her colour is Orange.
DAY 5- Panchami
Skandamata is the Goddess of the fifth day. Skand means the lap of the mother. Representing selfless love, the colour of the day is White depicting purity and prayer. Symbolic of the transforming strength of a mother when her child is confronted with danger. She is depicted riding a ferocious lion, having four arms, and holding her baby. Make your inner strength pure by meditating on the colour White.
Devi Katyayani is the goddess of the sixth day, colour Red being her colour, depicting her anger towards enemies. Known as the warrior goddess, she is considered as one of the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati. In this avatar, the Devi rides a lion and has four hands. Eradicate societal ills by meditating the colour Red on the 6th day.
DAY 7- Saptami
The seventh day belongs to Devi Kalratri, the colour Dark blue ruling the day.Ma Kali is also the goddess of this day, her immense power emanating through the colour. The seeker readies to fight against the evils of the society.
DAY 8- Ashtami
This day is ruled by Devi Mahagauri, fulfilling the wishes of the seeker for the betterment of the society. The colour Pink is her colour depicting hope and and freshness of thought process. Meditating on this day is pre requisite for self refinement and social upliftment.
DAY 9- Navami
This is the last day of the Navratras, and in that regard, special.Dedicated to Devi Siddhidatri, the goddess of knowledge and fulfilment of expectations.Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all type of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Also known as Saraswati Devi. Her colour is Violet representing aspiration and power and progress on the path of Jnana.
The 10th day, called Vijaydashami or Dusshera. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated holidays, Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami or Dussehra.