Navratri 2023
Navratri 2023

Durga Puja 2023: Date, Shubh Muhurat, Rituals, Significance, and History

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Durga Puja, a significant festival in Hinduism dedicated to Goddess Durga, is eagerly anticipated in 2023. This year, Sharad Navratri commences on October 15, 2023, and culminates on Maha Navami, which falls on October 23, 2023.

Navratri Calendar 2023: From Ghatasthapana to Maha Navami

Shardiya Navratri, a celebration that stretches over nine auspicious days, begins on October 15. From the Ghatasthapana ceremony to Maha Navami, these days are filled with devotion and fervor.

Hindus observe four Navratris annually, but Chaitra Navratri and Shardiya Navratri are the most prominent. In 2023, we prepare for Shardiya Navratri, occurring in the autumn month of Ashwin. This festival commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, earning her the title of Mahishasura Mardini. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to one of the nine forms of Maa Durga, known as Navdurgas. The festivities commence with Ghatasthapana and culminate with Maha Navami. Read on for a detailed overview of these nine days.

Nine Days of Shardiya Navratri

Day 1/Pratipada (October 15) – Ghatasthapana and Maa Shailputri Puja

Ghatasthapana is a pivotal Navratri ritual that marks the commencement of the nine-day celebration and the invocation of Goddess Durga. The most auspicious time for Ghatasthapana is during the first one-third of the day on Pratipada. This day is dedicated to worshipping Maa Shailputri.

Day 2 (October 16) – Maa Brahmacharini Puja

Devotees honor Maa Brahmacharini on the second day of Shardiya Navratri. She is regarded as the unmarried form of Maa Parvati and a great Sati. It is believed that Goddess Brahmacharini governs Lord Mangal, the provider of fortunes.

Day 3 (October 17) – Maa Chandraghanta Puja

On the third day of the festival, worshippers venerate Maa Chandraghanta. She is considered the married form of Goddess Parvati and is named after the half-Chandra adorning her forehead following her marriage to Lord Shiva.

Day 4/Chaturthi (October 18) – Maa Kushmanda Puja

Goddess Parvati assumed the form of Maa Kushmanda to radiate energy into the universe, dwelling within the center of the Sun after becoming Maa Siddhidatri, according to Drik Panchang.

Day 5/Panchami (October 19) – Maa Skandamata Puja

On the fifth day, devotees honor Maa Skandamata, who is the form of Goddess Parvati that emerged after she transformed into Lord Kartikeya (Lord Skanda). Worshipping Maa Skandamata bestows the blessings of Lord Kartikeya.

Day 6/Shashti (October 20) – Maa Katyayani Puja and Saraswati Avahan

Shashthi serves as the first day of Saraswati Puja during Navratri, known as Saraswati Avahan. This day also features the worship of Maa Katyayani, a fierce form of Goddess Parvati who is the warrior deity.

Day 7/Saptami (October 21) – Saptami and Maa Kalratri Puja

The seventh day of Shardiya Navratri includes Saraswati Puja. It is also dedicated to Maa Kalratri, the most ferocious form of Goddess Parvati, who revealed her fierce side while combating demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Day 8/Ashtami (October 22) – Durgashtami, Maa Mahagauri Puja, and Sandhi Puja

Maha Ashtami, also known as Maha Durgashtami, marks the second day of Durga Puja and the eighth day of Shardiya Navratri. On this day, nine small pots are installed to invoke the nine Shaktis of Durga. Young girls are worshipped in a ritual known as Kanjak or Kumari Puja. Additionally, Maa Mahagauri is honored on Ashtami.

Day 9/Navami (October 23) – Maha Navami

Maha Navami, the final day of Durga Puja and Shardiya Navratri, commences with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. On this day, Goddess Durga is revered as Mahisasura Mardini, symbolizing her triumph over the Buffalo Demon Mahishasura.

Navratri Parana, the fasting conclusion, generally occurs on the tenth day or Dashami. Dashami, celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra, signifies Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana and the end of the Durga Puja festival with Durga Visarjan.

A1: Durga Puja signifies the triumph of good over evil and the divine feminine energy’s power.

A2: Nine forms of Maa Durga, known as Navdurgas, are worshipped during Navratri.

A3: Key rituals include Ghatasthapana, idol installation, aartis, Sindoor Khela, and cultural performances.

A4: Durga Puja unites people across social divides, fostering community bonding and social harmony.

A5: Many observe fasting during Durga Puja, abstaining from non-vegetarian food, alcohol, and specific grains.

A6: You can participate in volunteer work by connecting with local puja committees or organizations that organize the festival.

A7: Durga Puja showcases unique artistry through pandal decorations with intricate themes and elaborate idol making by skilled artisans.

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