Navratri 2018 celebrations are on in full swing. The nine-day festival is celebrated with much fervour and enthusiasm by Hindus across the country, especially parts of North and West India. These nine auspicious days are dedicated to the worship of nine forms of Durga or Navdurga. As a mark of devotion towards the Goddess, some followers abstain from eating non-vegetarian food, alcohol and smoking. They also observe special Navratri vrat, where-in they eat light and sattvik food. The eastern part of the country is immersed in Durga Puja celebrations. The pandals have already installed the clay idols of Goddess Durga and the festive vibe is hard to miss. This year Navratri would go on till 18th October 2018. The ninth day of Navratri is known as Navami, and holds a special significance in several households. This year Navami starts on 17th October and ends on 18th October.
When is Navami 2018?
This year Mahanavami starts on 17th October and would end on 18th October.
Navami Tithi Begins - 12:49 PM on 17/Oct/2018
Navami Tithi Ends - 15:28 PM on 18/Oct/2018 (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Navami Time For Sandhi Puja
Sandhi Puja Muhurta = 12:25 PM to 1:13 PM (Source drikpanchang)
In many parts of the country, Hindu households hold 'Kanjak' or Kanya Puja. Nine girls are welcomed into the house by first washing their feet. They are then tied a moli (red thread) around their wrists. These girls are seated in a line and served a delicious bhog of halwa, poori and chole. They are also given gifts like pencils, tiffin boxes and hair clips. Young girls, who have not hit puberty yet, are seen as embodiment of Goddess Durga herself and are thus treated with much love and affection. Some observe the ritual of Kanjak on Ashtami or the eighth day of Navratri too.
Navami 2018: Significance of Navami in Navratri
Navami is the ninth and final day of Navratri and Durga Puja celebrations. It is said that it was on this day that Goddess Durga annihilated the buffalo demon Mahishasura and veered off his head using a trishool (a three-headed spear given to her by Lord Shiva). Mahishasura was given a boon that no man on earth or heaven could ever kill him. Upon receiving the boon from Brahma, he began thinking of himself as an equivalent of God-immortal and invincible. His evil doings disrupted the lives of many on earth. It was at this point, that the Gods entrusted Goddess Durga to kill Mahishasura and end the misery that had inflicted upon earth. In a battle that went on for days, Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura.
This year the Ashtami tithi ends on 17th October, 12:49 PM, post which starts the Navami tithi. Mahanavami begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. A special puja called Sandhi Puja is carried out when the Ashtami tithi ends and Navami tithi starts. This interval is said to be very auspicious. The Goddess is worshipped with 108 lotus flowers and bilva leaves.