Ashwin Shardiya Navaratri or Maha Navratri, also known as Sharad Navaratri is one of the most devotional and auspicious period of Hindus, begins on September 21, 2017.This festival is celebrated for nine nights and ten days after the last Shraddha of Pitru Paksha, i.e. Matamah Shraddha, Amavasya, Mahanavami ends on 29th September, this year.
Navadurga or Navratri first day Puja begins on Ashwin Shukla Pratipada, with Ghatasthapana (Kalash Sthapana) and idol Sthapana of Devi Durga, Puja, ends with Havana Vrat and Kanya Bhoj/ daan, the duration is generally for nine days.
People perform Garba and Dandiya dance as Navaratri celebrations, at night. Devotees recite Durga Saptashati Mantras and perform Puja, Havana and Vrat according to the prescribed rituals to please nine forms of Goddess Durga or Shakti during the auspicious Navaratri period. This is an auspicious period for starting an important event or a new business.
The dates or Tithi for Sharad Maha Navaratri Vrata and Dussehra 2017 are as follows:
21 Sept. Thursday Navaratri, 1st day, Pratipada: Navaratri Ghatasthapana, Shailputri Puja.
22 Sept. Friday, Navaratri, 2nd day, Dwitiya: Chandra Darshan, Brahmacharini Puja.
23 Sept. Saturday, Navaratri, 3rd day, Dwitiya: Chandraghanta Puja.
24 Sept. Sunday, Navaratri, 4th day, Tritiya/Chaturthi: Vinayaka Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja.
25 Sept. Monday, Navratri, 5th day, Panchami: Lalita Panchami, Skandamata Puja.
26 Sept. Tuesday, Navaratri 6th day, Shashthi: Upang Lalita Vrat, Katyayani Puja.
27 Sept. Wednesday, Navaratri, 7th day, Saptami: Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Puja, Durga Puja(Bengal)
28 Sept. Thursday, Navaratri, 8th day, Ashtami: Durga Ashtami, Mahagauri Puja.
29 Sept. Friday, Navaratri, 9th day, Maa Siddhidhatri Puja, Ashtami and Navami: Durga Ashtami Havan & Vrat (Kanya Bhoj for Ashtami) Maha Navami: Havana (Kanya Bhoj for Navami) Maha Navami (Bengal), Durga Balidan, Navaratri ends with the Kanya Bhoj and Daan.
30 Sept. Saturday, Dussehra begins, Vijaya Dashami, end of Dussehra
1 Oct. Sunday, Durga Visarjana.
Those who cannot observe fast for consecutive nine days, may keep fast for only two days, the first day, i.e. Pratipada and the last day, i.e. Mahashtami. Navaratri ends on Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami with Kanya Bhoj and Navami Havana.
Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami is celebrated as a significant victory of good over evil, it starts just after the end of Tithi Maha Navami. Vijaya Dashami is considered an important auspicious yoga period or Muhurat, for starting a new event, falls on September 30, this year.