India is famous for being a land of festivals. Navratri is one of the most beautiful festivals of the year and is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout the country. This is when it is believed that maa Durga remains on earth for nine days and blesses her devotees with wisdom and wealth. This festival highlights the victory of dharma over adharma, right over wrong, and good over evil as it celebrates the assassination of the demon Mahishasura by the incarnation of feminine power Maa Durga. It is also the day when Rama won the battle against the demon Ravana and rescued his wife.
As per the Vedic calendar, the four types of Navratris are Chaitra, Sharad, Magha Gupta and Ashadha Gupta Navratri. However, the two noted ones are Chaitra and Sharad Navratri. In both the celebrations, the nine forms of maa Durga are worshipped with great devotion and vivacity, including goddess Shailputri, Goddess Brahmacharini, Goddess Chandraghanta, Goddess Kushmanda, Goddess Skandamata, Goddess Katyanai, Goddess Kalaratri, Goddess Mahagauri, Goddess Siddidatri. All these forms manifest the attributes of divine feminine power and strengthen her eminence as the absolute spiritual power from which everyone and everything derives.
The Chaitra Navratri comes in March and April, whereas Sharad Navratri is a festival in September and October. Every year the date changes and can be known by reading the “panchang”, and Vedic scholars can help you understand the same. Read on to learn more about the significance of Sharad Navratri and the meaning of Chaitra Navratri in English.
Significance of Chaitra and Sharad Navratri
1. Chaitra Navratri
Chaitra Navratri falls during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra every year and is celebrated in the entire India with great enthusiasm and devotion. The festival starts the Hindu New Year with some religious rituals and ceremonies. Chaitra Navratri is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. Even in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, devotees celebrate it as Ugadi. This nine-day festival is also known as Rama Navratri. It also marks the change of season as we usher into summer from spring. Devotees observe fast for nine days to get the blessing of the divine mother before entering the New Year. It is also believed that if we seek blessings of the feminine divinity at this time of the year, we look forward to a bright year ahead.
2. Sharad Navratri
This is the most famous Navratri in the entire country, also known as Maha Navratri. As per the Vedic calendar, this Navratri falls during Ashwin masa and marks the beginning of winter in September/October. It starts straight after the completion of Shraddh, the period of remembering our ancestors. At this time we buy new clothes and prepare for the further festivities. This Navratri has excellent spiritual and religious standing in the minds of worshippers. Sharad Navratri is also celebrated as Durga Pooja in some places, especially in Assam and Bengal. For that, big pandals are crafted with such intricacy and artistically, and massive idols of maa Durga are placed inside them. In Durga puja, on the last day, the goddess Durga’s idol is bid farewell by immersing in water in a triumphant procession, unlike in other parts, where Dussehra is celebrated with the same enthusiasm and verve. Apart from in-house pooja observances, or rituals, one can enjoy this time with public concerts, plays, recitations, and fairs everywhere.
Every year, when nature begins to change, Hindus traditionally celebrate Navratri. There are thought to be subtle energies in the creation that are enhanced during this time of year, making these nine nights sacred. Prayers, chants, and other spiritual practises are more effective because these energies also strengthen and support the sensation of turning inward.
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Chaitra Navratri is celebrated during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra in March and April. Sharad Navratri falls during Ashwin masa and marks the beginning of winter in September/October.
Chaitra Navratri festival begins the Hindu New Year with some religious rituals and ceremonies.
There are four Navratris in a year. They are Magha, Chaitra, Ashadha, and Sharad.
Both the Navratris have their importance.
The Sharad Navratri 2022 will begin on 26 September.