Navratri is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus wherein the devotees worship the nine
forms of the Goddess Durga – one form, each night; hence the name “NAV - RATRA”. The pious festival
of worshipping the nine forms of the Goddess Durga is celebrated twice a year – once in the month of
CHAITRA [as per the Hindu calendar] and the other in month of ASHWINI [as per the Hindu calendar]
roughly falling once, on the onset of summers [around March /April] and the other during the start of
winters [around October].
Starting from the first day [‘Pratipada’] of the fortnight to the ninth day [Naumi] ; the goddess is worshipped with full faith and devotion and much fanfare. Worshipping the Goddess , following the rituals associated with the worship of the nine forms of the goddess , a devotee earns health ,wealth and prosperity. The festivities and celebrations of Navratri begin only after the establishing of the sacred Pot [‘KALASH’}.
Here are the auspicious timings of setting up the sacred pot /’ Kalash’.
The day the Chaitra Navratri begins, it also marks the start of the Hindu new year and the Navratri end on the ninth day ,also celebrated as t Ram Naumi i.e. the day Lord Ram was born ; that’s why it is also known as “Ram Navratri”. The Chaitra Navratri also has its astrological importance, as the Sun changes its house; after having circumbulated the 12 houses, it once again enters the Aries constellation to start the journey all over again of the 12 houses / constellations. The Chaitra Navratra herald the summers and the hot season. Preferably, the paraphernalia associated with the rituals and ‘pooja’ ceremonies of the Navratri ,should be bought at least two days before the start of the Navratra ; the moonless night [Amavasya] should be avoided for the purchases.
On the first day of the Navrtara, with full faith and devotion ,devotees establish the sacred pot / ‘Kalash’ at their work place / home and this is done in accordance with the auspicious timings and rituals. The ‘kalash’ / pot is considered an embodiment of Lord Ganesha, who has the privilege of being the very first deity to be offered prayers before the start of any auspicious ritual. Barley is sprinkled inside the ‘kalash’.
In 2018 , Chaitra Navratri begins on the 18th of March [Sunday] and ends on the 26 th of March [Monday].
The auspicious time of setting up the sacred pot [Kalash].
Establishing the sacred pot [kalash] has a great significance in the entire process of the Navratri. Generally, with the exception of ‘rahu-kaal’, the sacred pot can be established at any given time but if the pot is established by referring to the almanac and in the appropriate time frame ,the benefits are undoubtedly many-folds.
This year, on the 18 th March 2018 the most auspicious time for establishing the sacred pot /’Kalash’, starts from 07;34 am and will last till 11;56 am. On Sunday, 18th March 2018 , the first day, of the brighter fortnight of the lunar cycle also heralds the Hindu New Year, Vikram Samvat 2075.
Navratri Day 1 - March 18, 2018 (Sunday) - Ghatsthapana, Shailputri Worship Puja
Day 2 (Dwitiya) - March 19, 2018 (Monday) - Gauri Teej, Brahmacharini Puja
Day 3 (Tritiya) - March 20, 2018 (Tuesday) - Chandraghanta Puja
Day 4 (Chaturthi) - March 21, 2018 (Wednesday) - Kushmanda Puja
Day 5 (Panchami) - March 22, 2018 (Thursday) - Skandamata Puja
Day 6 (Shashthi) - March 23, 2018 (Friday) - Katyayani Puja
Day 7 (Saptami) - March 24, 2018 (Saturday) - Kalratri Puja
Day 8 (Ashtami) - March 25, 2018 (Sunday) - Mahagauri Puja, Ashtami, Rama Navami
Day 9 (Navami) - March 26, 2018 (Monday) - Navaratri Parana, Siddhidatri Puja