The Navratri that is observed in March – April (Chaitra Month in Hindu calendar) is more popular in North India. Navratri March – April 2018 dates are March 18 to March 25. As it is observed in the Chaitra month, it is known as Chaitra Navratri. As it is observed in the spring season, it is known as Vasant or Basant Navratri.
Which Hindu God/Goddess is Worshiped During Chaitra Navratri?
Goddess Durga and nine forms are worshipped during the period. Special pujas are observed in the Manasa Devi Temple and other temples in the hills like Chintpurni, Jwalamukhi, Vaisnodevi etc.
- Vasant Navratri
- Basanti Puja in Bengal
- Chaitra Navratri
- Ram Navratri – As Ramnavami is observed on the last day of the festival, it is also known as Ram Navratri.
Where is it Observed?
The March/April Navratri is more popular in North India, especially in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other northern states. Temples in this hill states conduct elaborate festivals and melas during the period.
Why is it Observed?
The popular belief is that originally Navratri was observed in March/April (Chaitra month). Bhagavan Sri Ram had invoked Goddess Durga during the war against Ravana in Sharad period (September – October).
- Ghatasthapana – growing barley or wheat for nine days as Prasad or bhog. It also symbolizes fertility.
- Special puja on Ashtami – the eighth day.
- Fasting on the eighth and ninth day.
- Kumari Puja is observed on the ninth day.