Updated: October 16, 2020 10:50:10 am
Navratri 2020 date, puja timings: One of most popular Indian festivals, Navratri (literally meaning ‘nine nights’) is celebrated every year with much fanfare in different parts of the country, and even around the world by the Hindu community. Technically, it is observed for nine nights and 10 days, during which, the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Upon the culmination of the nine-day period, Dussehra is celebrated, which is also believed to be the day that Lord Rama defeated King Ravana of Lanka in a battle between the forces of good and evil.
This year, the Navratris begin on October 17 with Shailputri (one of the nine forms of the goddess) puja, and end on October 26 with Vijay Dashami and Durga visarjan (immersion of the idol). According to the Drik Panchang, Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin lunar month with ghatasthapana. Kalash, which is installed during ghatasthapana, is immersed in a water body on the tenth day.
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The Drik Panchang also says that the Ashtami tithi for Sharad Navratri 2020 will begin 6.57 am on October 23 and continue till 6.58 am on October 24.
The nine nights celebrate and worship the nine forms of Durga. As such, it begins with Shailaputri puja, followed by Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Sidhidatri. Each of these goddesses — though an avatar of the goddess-supreme Durga — have their own powers and personalities.
Additionally, though it is the same festival, it is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. For instance in West Bengal, the celebrations start on the sixth day, as part of the Durga Puja festivities. In Karnataka, the ninth day of Navratri is observed as Ayudha Puja.
According to Dr Aarti Dahiya, a relationship expert, the 10 days of the festival also refer to the 10 evils that human beings pray to rid themselves of. These are: ‘kama‘ or lust, ‘krodh‘ or anger, ‘lobh‘ or greed, ‘moh‘ or attachment, ‘ahankar‘ or ego, ‘darr‘ or fear, ‘irsha‘ or jealousy, ‘jadta‘ or inertia, ‘nafrat‘ or hatred, and ‘paschataap‘ or guilt.
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