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Chaitra Navratri 2020: All about the 9 day festival and how it is different from Sharad Navratri

Chaitra Navratri 2020: Here's everything you need to know about the 9-day festival which is also known as Vasantha Navratri. Read on to know more.
Chaitra Navratri 2020: All about the 9 day festival and how it is different from Sharad NavratriChaitra Navratri 2020: Here's all about the nine day festival and how it is different from Sharad Navratri
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Navratri, which is a nine-day long festival is celebrated across India with great zeal and fervour. Devotees worship different avatars of Goddess Durga. Did you know that there are 4 Navratris? Chaitra Navratri, Magha Gupt Navratri, Sharad Navratri and Asadha Gupt Navratri. However, Chaitra and Sharad Navratri are celebrated and considered important. Speaking of Chaitra Navratri, the festival will start from tomorrow i.e. March 25 and will go on till April 2, according to the Gregorian calendar. The first day of the festival also coincides with Gudi Padwa and Ugadi.

The festival also symbolizes the beginning of the new year of the Hindu calendar. The festival also signifies the victory of good over evil. As per folklore, worshipping Goddess Durga can help you get Moksha (Salvation). For 9 days, people observe fast, perform puja and worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga-Goddess Shailaputri, Goddess Brahmacharini, Goddess Chandraghanta, Goddess Kushmanda, Goddess Skandamata, Goddess Kaalratri, Goddess Katyayani, Goddess Mahagauri and Goddess Siddhidhatri to seek the blessing of Maa Durga.  Devotees offer fruits, milk, flowers, and varied Prasad are also offered. Throughout the 9 days, people wake up early, take a bath and wear new clothes. Aside from special pujas, people also chant different mantras.

Many Hindus follow austere life during these 9 days and observe fast as well. Devotees either do Nirjala fast (without a drop of water) or phalahar (fasting foods can be included). Many who don't observe fast try to refrain from eating non-vegetarian food, drinking alcohol and even quit smoking during this pious period. Many choose to have light, sattvik food (without onion and garlic). 

What is the difference Between Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri:

The major difference is that Chaitra Navratri is celebrated during the beginning of the Hindu calendar year in the month of Chaitra. The festival usually falls between the months of March and April. The 9-day festival which is also known as Vasantha Navratri ends with Ram Navami (birthday of Lord Ram). Sharad Navratri is celebrated in the latter part of the year i.e. during the month of Ashwin, as per Hindu calendar. It usually falls during September-October. Sharad Navratri 2020 will begin on October 17 and will end on October 26. During this Navratri, people also enjoy Garba and Dandiya Raas.

When is Ashtami and Ram Navami?

As mentioned, Chaitra Navratri ends with Ram Navami and this year it falls on April 2. The Ashtami of Chaitra Navratri falls on April 1.

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