Sharad Navratri 2023 – Date and Importance of Nine-Day Festival

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Sharad Navratri or Sharadiya commences on the first day of the Ashwin month according to the Hindu calendar and culminates on the tenth day of the same month. This vibrant festival is a reverent celebration honouring Maa Durga and is widely recognised as Durga Puja, predominantly observed in the northern and eastern regions of India.

In Hindu mythology, Shri Rama venerated the divine Mother Goddess to wage a triumphant battle against the Demon King, Raavan, representing the victory of good over evil.

The tenth day, known as ‘VIJAYADASHAMI’ or ‘DUSSEHRA,’ holds special significance in this festival. Sharad Navratri aligns with the Ashwin month, signifying the onset of the winter season.

During Navratri, Devotees offer prayers to Maa Durga at home and visit temples dedicated to various manifestations of Mata Durga. The nine-day period is marked by the chanting of mantras, recitations of bhajans, and the recital of shlokas, all forming integral parts of Navratri rituals. Moreover, in Gujarat people celebrate Navratri with vibrant and colourable folk dance Garba, dancing their way to the nine days of Navratri. 

Sharad Navratri: Dates and Puja

Navratri is said to occur four times a year in Hindu scriptures such as the Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas. By the way, Navratri occurs in the light half of the Hindu calendar months in all cases. However, the celebrations vary in different regions according to their cultural preferences. 

The most well-known of the four Navaratris is Sharadiya Navratri, named after Sharada, which means autumn. It falls in the month of Ashwin (September–October, post-monsoon) of the Hindu calendar. The festival occurs after the autumn harvest in certain areas and during the harvest in other regions of India.

Sharada Navaratri is a post-monsoon autumn festival dedicated to the divine feminine Devi – Maa Durga. The festivity is celebrated throughout Pan India and now it is spread around the world. Let’s find dates and which goddesses are worshipped during the nine days of Navratri.

1st Day of Navratri (Paratipada)

Also known as: Ghatasthapana, Chandra Darshan

Puja: Shailputri Puja

Day: Sunday

Date: October 15, 2023

Read more 1st Day of Navratri


2nd Day of Navratri (Dwitiya)

Also known as Sindhara Dooj

Puja: Brahmacharini Puja

Day: Monday

Date: October 16, 2023

Read more 2nd Day of Navratri


3rd Day of Navratri (Tritiya)

Also known as: Gauri Puja, Saubhagya Teej

Puja: Chandraghanta Puja

Day: Tuesday

Date: October 17, 2023

Read more 3rd Day of Navratri


4th Day of Navratri (Chaturthi)

Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, Lakshmi Panchami

Puja: Kushmanda Puja

Day: Wednesday

Date:18 October 2023

Read more 4th Day of Navratri


5th day of Navratri (Panchami)

Also known as: Skanda Sashti

Puja: Naag Puja, Skandamata Puja, 

Day: Thursday

Date: October 19, 2023

Read more 5th Day of Navratri


6th Day of Navratri (Shasthi)

Also known as: Yamuna Chhath

Puja: Katyayani Puja

Day: Friday

Date: October 20, 2023

Read more 6th Day of Navratri


7th Day of Navratri (Saptami)

Also known as: Maha Saptami

Puja: Kalaratri Puja

Day: Saturday

Date: October 21, 2023

Read more 7th Day of Navratri


8th Day of Navratri (Ashtami)

Also known as: Durga Ashtami, Annapurna Ashtami 

Puja: Mahagauri Puja, Sandhi Puja

Day: Sunday

Date: October 22, 2023

Read more 8th Day of Navratri


9th Day of Navratri (Maha Navami)

Also known as: Navratri Parana, 

Puja:Siddhidatri Puja

Day: Monday

Date: October 23, 2023

Read more 9th Day of Navratri


Last Day of Navratri (Vijaya Dashami)

Also known as: Dussehra, Durga Visarjan

Day: Tuesday

Date: October 24, 2023

Read more about Dussehra

Significance of Sharad Navratri 2023

The significance of Sharad Navratri lies in its religious, cultural, and spiritual importance. Let’s find the significance of Sharad Navratri in varied aspects.

  • Worship of the Goddess: Sharad Navratri is a time when devotees worship the divine feminine energy, primarily in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to a different form or manifestation of the goddess. Devotees seek her blessings for strength, prosperity, and wisdom.
  • Victory of Good over Evil: The festival commemorates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura after a nine-day battle. This symbolises the triumph of good over evil, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of righteousness and virtue in one’s life.
  • Fasting and Penance: Many people observe fasts during Navratri, abstaining from certain foods and practising self-discipline. Fasting is seen as a way to purify the body and mind and to focus on spiritual practices. It is believed that fasting and prayers during Navratri can bring one closer to the divine.
  • Cultural Celebrations: Navratri is not only a religious festival but also a cultural extravaganza. In many parts of India, people celebrate with dance forms like Garba and Dandiya, wearing traditional attire, and participating in community gatherings. These cultural celebrations foster a sense of unity and togetherness among people.
  • Seasonal Significance: Sharad Navratri typically falls during the transition from monsoon to autumn in India. It is a time when the weather becomes more pleasant, and nature is in full bloom. This season change adds to the festive atmosphere and the sense of renewal and rejuvenation associated with the festival.
  • Durga Puja: In some regions of India, particularly in West Bengal, Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja with great grandeur and enthusiasm. Elaborate idols of Goddess Durga are created and worshipped, and the festival is marked by processions, cultural performances, and art installations.
  • Spiritual Reflection: Sharad Navratri is a time for spiritual introspection and growth. Devotees engage in prayers, meditation, and reading of religious texts. It is an opportunity to strengthen one’s faith and connection with the divine.

Sharad Navratri is a time for devotion, celebration, and self-reflection, and it plays an important role in the lives of millions of Hindus and people from other communities who join in the festivities.

Sharad Navaratri 2023 Celebrations

Worshipping nine goddesses during Navratri, stage decorations, recital of the legend, live dramas and enactment of the plot, and chanting Hindu scriptures are all part of the festivities. The nine days also serve as a significant crop harvesting season followed by cultural events, competitions for pandal design, and stage decoration, especially in West Bengal. People love to visit these pandals, and they perform puja each day till Dashmi.

Apart from pandal hopping, people enjoy various activities, including classical songs and folk dances. The statues are submerged in a water body, like a river or ocean, on the final day, known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra. The statue symbolising evil is burned with fireworks and it symbolised death. The festival also kicks off the countdown to one of the most popular and commonly observed holidays, Diwali, or the festival of lights, which falls twenty days after Sharad Navratri.