Vasant Navratri, also known as Vasant Navratras, begins on
April 8, 2016. This festival of nine nights in Hinduism is dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. It is also known as Chaitra Navratras or Spring Navratri or Basant Navratri. As this Navratra coincides with Ram Navami, it also referred as Ram Navratri. The dates are from April 8, 2016 to April 15, 2016.
Vasant Navratri is observed in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March – April). It is believed that Goddess Durga was originally worshipped (Durga Puja) in the Chaitra month and was also referred as Basanti Puja. It was Lord Ram who changed the period of Durga Puja.
Vasant Navratri 2016 dates
- Ghatsthapana – Navratri Day 1 – April 8, 2016
- Sindhara Dooj, Dwitiya – April 9, 2016
- Gaur Teej, Saubhagya Teej, Tritiya - April 10, 2016
- Varadvinayak Chaturthi - April 11, 2016
- Sri Laxmi Panchami Vrat, Naag Vrat Pujan - April 12, 2016
- Skand Shashthi, Yamuna Jayanti - April 12, 2016
- Mahasaptami Vrat, Chaiti Chath, Vijaya Saptami - April 13, 2016
- Sri Durga Mahaashtami, Annapurna Ashtami - April 14, 2016
- Vasant Navratri ends – Ram Navratri Day 9 – April 15, 2016
Lord Ram wanted to get the blessings of Goddess Durga before beginning the war with Ravana. Therefore he invoked Goddess Durga during Ashwin (October – November). This is why the Durga Puja during October is also known as Akal Bodhon or untimely invocation.
The Vasant or Spring Navratri is widely observed in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), Haryana,
Punjab and . Most Hindu devotees in this part of Jammu and Kashmir undertake Navratri Vrat or fasting. The festival occurs during the beginning of summer season. And it is said that the fasting helps in adapting the body to the changing climate. India
Some of the important
fairs in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are organized during this period. Temple
Almost all the rituals observed during Navratri (held in October-November) are also observed during Vasant Navrati.
One of the important events in Haryana and
Punjab is the worshipping of little girls. These little girls symbolically represent Goddess Durga and are known as ‘kanjaks.’ It is performed on the eight day or the Ashtami day.
Note - The most important Navratri which coincides with the Durga Puja in 2016 begins on October 1 and ends on October 10.