This year Chaitra Navrati starts on 18th March 2018.
Navratri is also celebrated during September-October times(lunar month of ashwin) and is referred as Sharad Navratri. Sharad or Ashwin Navratri is most widely celebrated throughout the country. There are two more navratras which fall under ‘Gupt Navratras’ or ‘ Hidden Navratras’.
Navratri is celebrated for 9 days and fasting, Japa(recitation of Mantras) and following of rituals is observed during the nine days after. The Ninth day of Chaitra Navratri( this year falling on Sunday,25th March 2018) is celebrated as Lord Rama’s Birthday or "Ram Navami". It is celebrated as the birth of ‘’Lord Rama’’- the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu and son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya.
Chaitra Navratri starts on Sunday, 18th March 2018. Various forms of Goddess are worshipped on all the nine days: Kushmanda, Chandraghanta, Brahmacharini, Shailputri, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, Sidhidaatri.
First day (18th March) Goddess Shailputri is worshipped. Ghatasthapna and Chandra Darshan are special features of this day. For Ghatasthapna an urn is filled with water and religiously placed for performing puja. Jyot or diya is lit throughout day and night.
Second day (19th March) Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped. Sindhara Dooj is a special feature for this day.
Third day (20th March) Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped. Gauri Teej and Saubhagya Teej are special features for this day.
Fourth day (21st March) Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped. Varad Vinayaka Chauth and Lakshmi Panchami are this day’s special features.
Fifth day (22nd March) Goddess SkandMata is worshipped. Naag Puja and Skanda Sashti are important features of this day.
Sixth day (23rd March) Goddess Katyayani is worshipped. Yamuna Chaath is an important feature of this day.
Seventh day (24th March) Goddess Kalratri is worshipped. Ashtami Puja shall be performed as well.
Eighth day (Sunday,25th March 2018) Ashtami Puja Sandhi Puja and Ram Navami shall be observed. Goddess Durga should be worshipped this day.
Please note that Ashtami and Navami Puja both shall be performed on Sunday 25th March 2018 as ‘Ashtami’ and ‘Navami’ both are falling on the same date. Dashami Puja shall be done on 26th March 2018. Breaking of Fast shall be done on Dashami Puja day. Navratri Parana shall be there on this day. For Navami Puja, prayers worshipping ‘Lord Ram’ and ‘Sita’ are offered.
May god bless you all this navratri... shub navratri...