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Chaitra Navratri During March - April - Importance of Chaitra Navratri

Chaitra Navratri, also known as Vasant Navratri, begins on March 29, 2017. 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 March 29, 2017 to April 5, 2017.

Chaitra 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.

Chaitra Navratri  2017 dates
  • Ghatsthapana – Navratri Day 1 – March 29, 2017
  • Sindhara Dooj, Dwitiya – March 29, 2017
  • Gaur Teej, Saubhagya Teej, Tritiya -  March 30, 2017
  • Varadvinayak Chaturthi -  March 31, 2017
  • Sri Laxmi Panchami Vrat, Naag Vrat Pujan -  April 1, 2017
  • Skand Shashthi, Yamuna Jayanti -  April 2, 2017
  • Mahasaptami Vrat, Chaiti Chath, Vijaya Saptami - April 3, 2017
  • Sri Durga Mahaashtami, Annapurna Ashtami - April 4, 2017
  • Vasant Navratri ends – Ram Navratri Day 9 – April 5, 2017
Story of Chaitra Navratri

Lord Ram wanted to get the blessings of Goddess Durga before beginning the war with Ravana in the Ramayana. 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.

Chaitra Navratri is the original period of Navratri festival. It was changed by Lord. The story of Chaitra Navratri is the same as Sharad Navratri of Goddess Durga annihilating Mahishasura.

Chaitra Navratri is also known as Basanti Puja

Originally Navratri puja was held in Chaitra Month. Lord Ram invoked Goddess Durga during Sharad (Ashwin month) for victory over Ravana. The Durga Puja in Ashwin month (October – November) is also known as Akal Bodhon, or untimely invocation, as Lord Ram had invoked her during the Ashwin month. Read more about Basanti Puja

Ghatasthapana 

Chaitra Navratri puja begins with Ghatasthapana or Kalashsthapana Puja. The puja involves invoking the mother Goddess in a Pot or Kalash and sowing of seeds (barely etc). The pot is sprinkled with water on all the nine days. Pujas and other rituals are performed. At the end of the ninth day, the barley shoots will reach a height of 2 to 3 inches and its then pulled out and distributed. Ghatasthapana time in 2017 is from sunrise to 6:32 AM on March 29.

Chaitra Navratri Ashtami 

The eighth day of the the nine-day festival is of great significiance. Special pujas and rituals are observed on the day. Goddess Shakti temples in North India see huge rush on the day. Tarashtami, Mahashtami, Mahanisha Puja and Annapurna Parikrama are observed on the day. In eastern parts of India, Chaitra Ashtami is observed as AshokashtamiAnnapurna Puja is also observed on the day.

Chaitra Navratri Popular in North India

The Vasant or Spring Navratri is widely observed in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Most Hindu devotees in this part of India 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.

Some of the important Temple fairs in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are organized during this period.

Almost all the rituals observed during Navratri (held in October-November) are also observed during Vasant Navrati.

Worship of Girls During Chatira Navratri

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. The rituals i also known as Kumari Puja. Read more about Chaitra Navratri Kanjak Ashtami Puja.

Chaitra Navratri Mela at Manasa Devi Temple

Goddess Mansa Devi is an important incarnation of Goddess Shakti and in this form she is very popular in the Himalayas. Millions of devotees arrive at the Mansa Devi Temple worship Mansa Devi during Chaitra Navratri. The most important dates are Chaitra Saptami, Ashtami and Navami.

Note - The most important Navratri which coincides with the Durga Puja in 2017 begins on September 21 and ends on September 30.

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