Significance of Navratri..
Navratri is a major Hindu festival celebrated throughout in India and Nepal. It is a festival dedicated to the Goddess Durga or Shakthi – a manifestation of the omnipresent energy of the universe. The word Navaratri in Sanskrit means nine nights (‘Nava‘ meaning ‘nine‘ and ‘Ratri‘ meaning ‘nights‘). The festival lasts for 9 nights and 10 days, and the nine forms of Devi or Goddess are worshipped during this time. Though Navaratri is observed 5 times in a year, those celebrated at the onset of summer and winter are having more importance. Sharad Navratri, the one observed at the beginning of autumn or the onset of winter is the most popular one which is commonly referred to as Navratri. Vijayadashami or Dussehra is observed on the tenth day of Sharad Navratri.
Navratri in Lunar Calendar
The dates of the Navratri festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. It is observed 5 times a year – Vasanta Navaratri, Ashad Navaratri, Sharad Navaratri, Pausha Navaratri and Magha Navaratri.
Vasanta Navratri falls on the month of Chaitra (March–April) and it marks the start of the new year in Hindu lunar calendar. It is observed during the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra month.
Ashad Navratri is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Ashada month (June–July).
Sharad Navratri is the most important of the Navratris which is celebrated from the ‘pratipada’ (first day) of the bright fortnight (Shukla paksha) of the lunar month of Ashvin. It marks the beginning of winter (September – October) and is called Maha Navratri or simply Navratri.
Pausha Navratri is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in the month of Pausha (December–January).
Magha Navratri falls on the waxing phase of moon in January–February.
All these Navratris are 9 day long observances with each day dedicated to different forms of Goddess Durga or Shakthi. The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered more sacred for worshipping the omnipresent energy ‘Mother Durga’.
Courtesy:Indian Astrology Software