Navaratri is a nine-night Hindu festival that celebrates the goddess Durga in her nine forms. The festival falls between October 15th to 24th in 2023.
While some places dedicate this festival to the goddess Durga and her nine manifestations, other places celebrate Navaratri by worshipping Rama, one of Lord Vishnu’s 10 avatars.
Some of the Navaratri festivities include traditional music and dance performances, rituals, and the singing of devotional songs, and the festival culminates on Dussehra — a celebration of the victory of good over evil.
Navaratri Dates and Holiday Calendar
|Dates||September 26th to October 5th||October 5th|
|Days||Monday to Wednesday||Friday|
|Event Details||Worshipping the goddess Durga in her nine forms.||Celebrating Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon Ravana.|
How Long is the Navaratri Festival?
The post-monsoon autumn Sharada Navaratri is the most observed among the four seasonal Navaratri celebrations throughout the year and lasts for nine nights and 10 days. It may also be held for a day more or a day less, depending on the adjustments in sun and moon movements and whether the current year is a leap year.
|2023 Date||Celebrated in||Meaning||Celebrations|
|Sharada Navaratri||October 15th to 24th||West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu||Worshipping of the nine forms of the goddess Durga||Celebrations include people wearing different colors on different days, representing the 9 significant colors of Navaratri.|
|Magha Navaratri||January 22nd to 30th||Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh||Worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga||Idols of Goddess Durga are presented with offerings such as vermillion powder, rice, flowers, and incense sticks.|
|Chaitra Navaratri||March 22nd to 31st||Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh||Worshipping of the nine forms of the goddess Durga||Celebrations include people wearing different colors on different days, representing the 9 significant colors of Navaratri.|
|Ashada Navaratri||June 19th 28th||Individuals or Hindu sages||Worshipping of the nine forms of the goddess Durga||Devotees fast and prayers are chanted to the goddess Durga.|
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Navaratri Dates Across India
Navaratri celebrations vary by region and the goddess Durga is celebrated in some, while others dedicate the festival to Rama.
Regarded as an optional holiday, many government offices and businesses still operate during Navaratri, though some companies might choose to give their employees time off. Below is a list of all the different Navaratri celebrations across India:
|Durga Puja||West Bengal||October 20th to 24th||Thousands of temporary podiums, called pandals, are erected in community squares, roadside shrines, and Durga temples.|
|Navaratri||North India (Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh)||October 15th to 24th||Episodes of the Ramayana, the Hindu epic narrating the life of Rama, are reenacted in cultural centers, temples, and on temporary stages.|
|Navaratri||Gujarat||October 15th to 24th||Devotees fast and abstain from eating grain. Prayers and clay pots, known as garbo, are offered to the goddess Shakti.|
|Navaratri||Goa||October 15th to 24th||Devotional songs, religious conversations, and musical performances are held at Devi and Krishna temples.|
|Dasara||Karnataka||October 15th to 24th||Houses, temples, and cultural sites are brightly lit up with artificial lights.|
|Navaratri||Kerala||October 15th to 24th||The Saraswati Puja is performed, a ritual where books are worshipped alongside Saraswati — the Hindu goddess of knowledge and enlightenment.|
|Navaratri||Maharashtra||October 15th to 24th||Rural households prepare a copper or brass jar filled with water, symbolizing the goddess Durga, and worship it for nine days, performing rituals and presenting it with offerings.|
|Navaratri||Tamil Nadu||October 15th to 24th||Traditional Hindu dances like Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam are performed in temples, palaces, and community centers.|
|Navaratri||Telangana||October 15th to 24th||A nine-day floral festival known as Bathukamma takes place and is dedicated to Gauri, one of the manifestations of the goddess Parvati.|
Navaratri is Determined by the Hindu Calendar
Similar to most Hindu festivals, Navaratri follows the Hindu calendar, which is based on a lunisolar system and has been used by the majority of Hindus to mark important festival dates for thousands of years.
The festival celebrated for nine straight nights throughout the Hindu month of Ashvin. Also known as Aswayuja, Ashvin is the seventh month in the Hindu calendar and begins on the new moon following the autumn equinox, typically falling in either September or October on the Gregorian calendar.
Aside from Navaratri, other major Hindu festivals celebrated in Ashvin include Diwali, the festival of lights, Kali Puja, dedicated to goddess Kali, and Durga Puja, a festival celebrating the victory of the goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Navaratri Dates: 1990 to 2030
How to Celebrate Navaratri
There are a few ways travelers can celebrate Navaratri, including:
Cleansing the Mind
The purpose of Navaratri is to cleanse yourself of negative feelings like hatred, jealousy, anger, and violence. The best thing to do on Navaratri is to keep your mind and thoughts pure and avoid negative thoughts about other people.
Treating Women with Great Respect
Since the goddess Durga is said to be represented by young girls, a common way Navaratri is celebrated is by offering gifts like sweets, traditional food, and fruit to young girls during the festival. This also applies to married women, who are to be treated with the utmost respect.
Engaging in Spiritual Deepening
Navaratri is all about spiritual deepening. Try meditating for at least 15 minutes a day throughout the entire nine-day festival. If you want to take it a step further, join the local devotees on their fast by only eating fruit and drinking milk, or restrict yourself to one vegetarian meal a day.
Celebrate Navaratri With Asia Highlights
Navaratri is one of India’s biggest festivals. Connect with Asia Highlights today to start planning your trip and experience this incredible festival firsthand. We’ll help tailor your bookings and organize trips that allow you to enjoy Navaratri to the fullest.
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