One of the most auspicious Hindu festivals of the year, Sharadiya Durga Puja or Navratri 2023 is celebrated across the nation for nine days. Here is everything you need to know about the dates for Navratri 2023, the story behind this festival, and the forms of Goddess Durga to be worshipped on the nine days.
One of the most auspicious Hindu festivals of the year, Sharadiya Durga Puja or Navratri 2023 is celebrated across the nation for nine days. One of the two large-scale Navratris of the year, Sharadiya Navratri is also observed to worship Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. This autumnal Navratri begins on the Pratipada tithi of the Shukla Paksha or the bright period of the Hindu month of Ashwin and ends on the Navama tithi. Navratri 2023 will therefore be celebrated this year from October 15 to October 23, with October 24 being celebrated as Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra.
While these are the rough estimates for the Navratri 2023 celebrations, you should check the Drik Panchang for more details on when each ritual should be started. The Drik Panchang says that the Sharadiya Navratri 2023 will begin on October 15 and end on October 24 with Durga Visarjan and Vijaya Dashami celebrations. The Pratipada Titihi of Ashwin month is set to begin on October 14 at 11.24PM and end on October 16 at 1.32AM. So, officially Sharadiya Navratri will begin on October 15 at the Uday Tithi or sunrise timings.
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Significance of Sharadiya Navratri 2023
Hindu mythology lays the foundation of Sharadiya Navratri 2023 by associating this nine-day period with many important stories. One story states that a demon named Mahishasura wreaked havoc on earth based on a boon by Lord Brahma that he could not be killed by any god, demon or human. But, seeing the plight of people under Mahishasura’s evil rule, the gods united to create Goddess Durga and armed her with special weapons. Navratri 2023 signifies the nine-day-long battle Goddess Durga waged against Mahishasura, finally defeating him on Vijaya Dashami.
Another story from Hindu mythology, and one that is immensely popular in Bengal, says that Goddess Durga travels to her parents’ home or maika every year for days which coincide with Navratri 2023. Bengali Hindus believe that Maa Durga arrives with her children on a five-day visit, beginning on Shashthi and ending on Dashami, during which time her family welcomes her with gifts, lavish feasts and daily worship. No matter which story you believe in, nobody can deny that both Navratri 2023 and Durga Puja 2023 are major festive occasions all over India.
Nine Days of Navratri: Rituals And More
As mentioned before, Navratri 2023 will be celebrated for nine consecutive days, with each day dedicated to the worship of an avatar or form of Goddess Durga. Most people observe a nine-day long Navratri 2023 fast which includes sattvik diet and excludes all tamasic and rajasic foods. In parts of India, Navratri 2023 is also celebrated by worshiping Devi Durga with night-long dances or Garba. Here is a list of Navratri 2023 dates and which goddess needs to be worshipped on each day.
October 15 – The beginning of the festive period with Ghatasthapana, followed by the worship of Devi Shailputri.
October 16 – This day is dedicated to the worship of Devi Brahmacharini.
October 17 – Also celebrated as Sindoor Tritiya, this day is dedicated to the Devi Chandraghanta Puja.
October 18 – Dedicated to the worship of Devi Kushmanda Puja, this day is also observed by many as Vinayak Chaturthi.
October 19 – This day is dedicated to the worship of Devi Skandamata.
October 20 – This day is dedicated to the worship of Devi Katyayani, while in Bengal, Assam, Odisha and parts of Bihar, Durga Pratima unmasking ceremony also takes place.
October 21 – Also known as Saraswati Puja, the Saptami day is dedicated to the worship of Devi Kalratri.
October 22 – More popularly known as Durga Ashtami, this day is dedicated to the worship of Devi Mahagauri.
October 23 - Maha Navami is the day when Navratri 2023 ends with the worship of Devi Siddhidatri.
October 24 – On this day, people break their nine-days-long Navratri 2023 fast, and celebrate Durga Visarjan and Vijayadashami.