Hindus globally have begun observing the nine-day festival of Navaratri.
The festival is dedicated to one of the fiercest goddesses in Hinduism – Durga.
It’s also one of the more prominent Hindu commemorations and marks the beginning of the festival season in India, which is followed by Dussehra and Diwali.
The word “Navaratri” in Sanskrit means “nine nights”.
It is believed that Goddess Durga fought a battle with the demon king Mahishasura and killed him, marking the victory of good over evil. The battle lasted nine days.
Over the next nine days, Hindus will worship the “nine forms of Goddess Durga”. Prayer and traditional offerings of fruit, milk and flowers are common ways to observe the festival during this period.
Nine days, nine colours to attract goodwill and destroy negativity
Each day of the Navaratri is dedicated to a different avatar of Goddess Durga. Each form is associated with a specific colour and has a special meaning. Wearing these colours on the specific days of the Navaratri is considered auspicious.
Day one: Yellow – Brightness and cheer
The first day is for the incarnation of Mata Shailputri and is associated with the colour yellow. Yellow is meant to attract brightness, happiness and cheer to our lives. Shailputri symbolises Mother Mature and her favourite flower is jasmine.
Day 2: Green – Renewal and nature
The second day of Navaratri is dedicated to the Brahmacharini incarnation of Durga and is paired with green. Green symbolises renewal, nature and energy. Green clothes on this day bring growth, harmony and fresh energy into life.
Day 3: Grey – Destroy evil
The third day is dedicated to Mata Chandraghanta. This incarnation carries a half-moon on her forehead and her favourite colour is grey. Although grey and often associated with negativity, in this context it symbolises zeal and determination to destroy evil.
Day 4: Orange – Cheer and smiles
Day four is for Khushmanda. This form of Durga is credited with creating the world with her smile. She is also referred to as the “smiling goddess”. She is associated with the colour orange which is associated with cheerfulness. Wearing orange on this day attracts brightness, happiness and positive energy.
Day 5: White – Peace and meditation
Skandamata is the fifth form of the goddess and she’s seen holding the Lord Kartikeya in her right arm. Devotees wear white on this day, which represents purity, peace and meditation.
Day 6: Red – Power and fearlessness
The sixth form of Durga is called Katyayani. She is also considered to be the most powerful form of Goddess Durga and is hailed as a warrior goddess. The colour red on this day symbolises her anger towards enemies and marks her fearlessness to conquer them.
Day 7: Royal blue – Destroyer of demons
The seventh avatar is Kalaratri and is associated with death. Durga’s immense power is represented by royal blue. In this form, she is believed to be the destroyer of all demons and is marked by her bluish complexion (similar to that of Lords Krishna and Shiva) and a fearless posture.
The royal blue colour associated with it symbolises immense power.
Day 8: Pink – Self-refinement and social upliftment
Day eight is for Mahagauri. This form of Durga has the power to fulfil all the desires of her devotees. Worship of Durga is this form is believed to bring relief from all of life’s sufferings, trials and tribulations. Pink on this day symbolises hope, self-refinement and social upliftment.
Day 9: Purple – Ambition and power
The last day is dedicated to the avatar Siddhidatri. “Siddhi” translates to supernatural power and “Dhatri” means the awarder. This form Durga is a giver of knowledge and helps you achieve your aspirations and is associated with purple, which represents ambition and power.