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Navratri 2017 dates - Sharad Navratri As Per Hindu Calendar Begins on September 21

Sharad Navratri 2017 will be observed in India from September 21 to September 29, 2017, in India as per Hindu Calendar. The nine-day festival in Hinduism is dedicated to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga. The most important nine-day festival is Sharad Navratras which begins on the first day of the bright half of Ashvin or Ashwayuja (September-October) as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar.

2017 Navratri September - October dates
Day 1 – September 21, 2017 – Ghatsthapana - Navratri Begins – Chandra Darshan
Day 2 – September 22 – Sindoor Tritiya
Day 3 – September 23 – Varad Vinayak Chaturthi 
Day 4 – September 24 – Upang Lalita Vrat - Lalitha Panchami
Day 5 – September 25 
Day 6 – September 26
Day 7 – September 27 – Saraswati Awahan - Maha Lakshmi Puja (western parts of India)
Day 8 – September 28 – Mahashtami - Annapoorna Parikrama – Saraswathi Puja (western parts of India)
Day 9 – September 29, 2017 - Mahanavami  Mahanavami fasting Saraswati Visarjan  or Saraswathi Balidan

The tenth day is celebrated as Dasara or Vijaya Dashami. (September 30, 2017)

The nine days are famous for Bathukamma in Telangana.

Vidyarambham in Kerala is on September 30, 2017.

  • Significance of Navratri
Mother Goddess Shakti who appears in various forms to save and protect her children are worshipped on the nine days. There is no end to her forms. Whenever her children are in difficulty she takes a form to annihilate the evil and protect her children like a caring mother. She is the all providing mother who nourishes and feeds her children. Life on earth exists due to her blessing.

Symbolically the first three days of Navratri are an opportunity to overcome inertia (Tamas), the next three days are dedicated to overcoming passion (Rajas) and the next three days are for keeping the mind eternally focused on purity (Sattva).

The nine days are an opportunity to reboot. Make positive changes to life with blessings of Maa Durga.
  • Traditional Navratri Puja
House should be cleaned properly.
The person performing puja should take bath early in the morning.
Sankalp or decision should be made to have a peaceful nine days.
No alcohol, smoking, paan, and sexual intercourse during the nine days.
The first puja is performed to Ganesha.
Next puja should be offered to Matrika, Lokpal, Navgraha and Varuna.

Mother Goddess is offered the usual sixteen step puja (Shodashopachara Puja)
Puja should be offered to Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali.

Chant a Mother Goddess Mantra daily.
  • Navratri Begins with Ghatasthapana (In South and Eastern Parts this is skipped)
Wheat or Jowar is sowed in a clay flat pot on the first day of Navratri. Water is sprinkled and it is covered with Mango leaves. The first shoots will appear on the third day. It then grows quickly symbolically representing fertility, hope, and progress. It is also a sign of good health and wealth.
  • Nine Goddess Worshipped During Navratri
Navdurga or nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on the nine days of Navratri. The nine forms are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhiratri.
  • Scripture Read During Navratri
Durga Saptasati is the scripture read during the nine days of Navratri. There are 700 shlokas and it was composed by Lord Brahma, Rishi Vasishta and Rish Vishwamitra. Spatasati indicates the 700 shlokas.
  • Navratri Vrat
You can perform Vrat on all nine days by consuming water and fruits.
Vegetarian food should only be consumed during the nine days.
Majority people observe fast only on the seventh (seventh) or eighth (Ashtami) or ninth day (Navami).
  • Kanya Pujan
On eight or ninth day of the festival, people perform Kanya Pujan. Young girls less than the age of nine is invited and given food and clothes.

  • Navratri Mantra

You can chant any mantra dedicated to Mother Goddess. Here are three mantras chanting of which are considered highly helpful and meritorious.

  1. सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके  
    शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते
  2. शङ्खचक्रगदाशङ्र्गगृहीत परमायुधे।
    प्रसीद वैष्णवीरूपे नारायणि नमोऽस्तुते।।
  3. देवि प्रपन्नाॢतहरे प्रसीद  प्रसीद मातर्जगतोऽखिलस्य।
    प्रसीद विश्वेश्वरि पाहि विश्वं त्वमीश्वरी देवि चराचरस्य।।

South India
In South India, Goddess Durga is worshipped during the first three days.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped during the next three days
Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped during the last three days. Ayudha puja including keeping of books, musical instruments and other educational materials on Ashtami. The materials are not touched on Ashtami and Navami.
Musical concerts and Navratri Gollu are highlights of the festival.
Vijayadasami is observed as Vidyarambham in Kerala.

Chaitra Navratri and other two Navratris in a Year

Chaitra Navratri 2018 is from March 18 to March 25 as per latest information. In 2018, the Mother Goddess festival will begin on October 10.

Apart from the Navratri in September – October, there are three other Navratras in a year. The most important among the three is the festival observed in March-April especially in North India. This is also known as Vasant or Ram Navaratri as it coincides with the Ram Navami festival.

Thus there are four important Navratri in a year in a traditional Hindu lunar calendar.

Chaitra Navratri March - April 2018 dates

Day 1 – March 18, 2018 – Ghatsthapana - Navratri Begins – Chandra Darshan
Day 2 – March 19 – Sindhara Dooj, Dwitiya
Day 3 – March 20 – Gaur Teej, Saubhagya Teej, Tritiya
Day 4 – March 21 – Varadvinayak Chaturthi 
Day 5 – March 22 – Sri Laxmi Panchami Vrat, Naag Vrat Pujan
Day 6 – March 23 – Skand Shashthi, Yamuna Jayanti
Day 7 – March 24 – Mahasaptami Vrat, Chaiti Chath, Vijaya Saptami
Day 8 – March 25 – Sri Durga Mahaashtami, Annapurna Ashtami
Day 9 – March 25, 2018 - Navami - Chaitra Navratri ends. The day is also observed as Ram Navami. (Get complete detail of Chaitra Navratri here)

Magh or Gupt Navratra (January – February)
Begins on January 18, 2018, and ends on January 26, 2018 (Read more about Magh Festival here)

Ashad or Gupt Navaratri (June – July)
Ashad Navratri begins on July 13, 2018, and ends on July 21, 2018

Navrati 2018 (September/ October) dates - October 10 to October 18, 2018

Another important festival is the Shakambari Navaratri observed in Poush month which is exclusively dedicated to Goddess Shakambari Mata.