Sharada Navratri

Sharada Navratri, the last of the four navaratis that celebrates the change in seasons in India, is associated with the nine forms of Shakti. One the 10th day (Vijayadashami), Goddess Durga is said to have killed demon Mahishasura (hence, she is named Mahishasuramardini) celebrating the victory of good over evil. Another version has lord Rama killing Ravana, angain celebrating the victory of good over evil. Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess.

Day 1: Shailaputri

The first day is known as Pratipada, and the form of goddess that is celebrated is Shailaputri (“Daughter of the Mountain”), an incarnation of Parvati. The Goddess is worshiped as Shiva’s wife riding Nandi (the bull). She holds a trishul in her right hand and lotus in her left.

Day 2: Brahmcharini

Dwitiya is the celebration Brahmcharini. Goddess Parvati is celebrated as Sati, her unmarried self, for moksha (peace and prosperity). She is bare feet and is depicted holding a japamala and kamandal in her hands.

Day 3: Chandraghanta

On Tritiya, we celebrate Chandraghanta, as Parvati adorned her forehead with half-chandra (moon) as a symbol of matrimony with Shiva. We celebrate the beauty and bravery of women.

Day 4: Kushmunda

Chaturthi is for Goddess Kushmanda, who gifted the earth with vegetation. Kushmunda has eight arms and sits on a Tiger.

Day 5: Skandmata

On Panchami, we worship Skandamata, the mother of Kartikeya. Celebrating the strength of a mother protective of her child, she has having four arms and is seen holding her baby, while riding a lion.

Day 6: Katyayani

Sashti is the day for the most violent forms of Goddess Parvati, Kātyāyanī. Daughter to sage, Katya, she has four arms and rides a lion.

Day 7: Kalratri

Saptami is when we worship the most ferocious form of Goddess Durga, Kalaratri. Parvati transitions from the fair-skinned beauty to a dark-skinned goddess to kill the demons Sumbh and Nisumbh.

Day 8: Mahagauri

Mahagauri, an epitome of intelligence and peace is celebrated on Ashtami. She is known to fulfil all your desires

Day 9: Sidhidatri

The last day of the festival, Navami, we celebrate Goddess Saraswati in her Siddhidaatri (Ardanareeswara) avataar. She is sitting on a lotus and has four hands, a depiction of wisdom and knowledge.

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