Navratri is an annual Hindu celebration observed to honor the goddess Durga, an embodiment of the supreme goddess Adi Parashakti. Shardiya Navratri, the fourth Navaratri, is named after the autumn season (Sharada) and is one of the most significant Navratri festivals of the year. This nine-day festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the nation, accompanied by various ceremonies and traditions. The tenth day, following the nine auspicious days of Navratri, is celebrated as Durga Puja and Dussehra to commemorate the triumph of good over evil.
When Will Shardiya Navratri Begin?
The first day (pratipada) of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvini marks the beginning of Shardiya Navaratri. This festival, which usually falls in the Gregorian months of September and October, is observed for nine nights. In 2023, Shardiya Navratri will commence on October 15 and conclude with Dussehra on October 24.
Puja Muhurat Timing and Other Details
Ghatasthapana is a significant ritual during Navratri, symbolizing the invocation of Goddess Shakti and marking the beginning of nine days of festivity. The most auspicious timing for Ghatasthapana is during the first one-third of Navratri Day 1 (Pratipada). Chitra Nakshatra is considered the most inauspicious time for Ghatsthapana.
- Date: October 15, 2023
- Day: Sunday
- Pratipada Tithi Begins: 11:24 PM on October 14, 2023
- Pratipada Tithi Ends: 12:32 AM on October 16, 2023
- Chitra Nakshatra Begins: 04:24 PM on October 14, 2023
- Chitra Nakshatra Ends: 06:13 PM on October 15, 2023
Shardiya Navratri 9-Day Festival Schedule
The word “Navaratri” in Sanskrit means “nine nights,” with ‘nava’ meaning ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ meaning ‘nights.’ This festival is celebrated in various parts of the world, each with its unique religious and cultural significance. Below is the complete 9-day Festival Schedule for Shardiya Navratri 2023:
- October 15 (Sunday): Navratri Day 1 (Pratipada) – Ghatasthapana, Shailputri Puja
- October 16 (Monday): Navratri Day 2 (Dwitiya) – Chandra Darshana, Brahmacharini Puja
- October 17 (Tuesday): Navratri Day 3 (Tritiya) – Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja
- October 18 (Wednesday): Navratri Day 4 (Chaturthi) – Kushmanda Puja, Vinayaka Chaturthi
- October 19 (Thursday): Navratri Day 5 (Panchami) – Upang Lalita Vrat, Skandamata Puja
- October 20 (Friday): Navratri Day 6 (Shashthi) – Saraswati Avahan, Katyayani Puja
- October 21 (Saturday): Navratri Day 7 (Saptami) – Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Puja
- October 22 (Sunday): Navratri Day 8 (Ashtami) – Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja
- October 23 (Monday): Navratri Day 9 (Navami) – Maha Navami, Ayudha Puja, Navami Homa
- October 24 (Tuesday): Navratri Day 10 (Dashami) – Navratri Parana, Durga Visarjan, Vijayadashami
Religious and Cultural Significance
Shardiya Navratri holds immense religious, cultural, and social significance. On a religious level, Navratri is a time for prayers, fasting, and spiritual reflection, signifying devotion and the worship of different manifestations of Durga, such as Kali and Lakshmi.
On the cultural front, families and friends dressed in traditional and ethnic attire come together to indulge in festive foods. This festival unites people from diverse backgrounds in vibrant celebrations. Communities organize traditional dances like Garba and Dandiya, creating a sense of togetherness and preserving their cultural heritage.
Shardiya Navratri is not just a religious observance but a celebration that brings people closer, reaffirming their faith and cultural roots while rejoicing in the victory of good over evil. It is a time when spirituality and festivity blend harmoniously to create a memorable and meaningful experience for all.
Tips for Tourists
If you plan to experience Shardiya Navratri as a tourist, here are a few tips to make the most of your visit:
- Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of the significance of this festival for the locals. Dress modestly when visiting temples and participating in the festivities.
- Join the Celebrations: Don’t be a passive observer. Join in the dances, try the traditional foods, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
- Be Prepared: Festivals can be crowded, so ensure you have necessary essentials like water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.
- Capture the Moments: This is a perfect opportunity for photography. The colors, the costumes, and the rituals will provide you with fantastic photo opportunities.