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Oct 13, 2020, 13:06 IST

Navratri 2020: Check the Dates, Timings and Puja Muhurat

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Sharad Navratri is one of the most celebrated festivals in Hinduism. This year has been a little different, since Navratri starts a month after Pitru Paksha, due to the Adhik Mass* that started as soon as Pitru Paksha ended. Navratri this year will begin on Saturday, October 17 and end on Saturday, October 24 culminating into Vijay Dashami on October 25.

Significance

The word Navratri literally translates into "nine nights" - each corresponding to one avataar of Maa Durga - the annihilator of all demons. The festival is also celebrated as "Durga Puja" in the Bengali community that sees huge pandals of Durga Maa being set up at different parts of the country. In the Western part of the country and especially in Gujarat, Garbha nights take place where devotees sing song and play dandiya all night long in honour of the Goddess. The 9 forms of Durga that are worshipped during these 9 night are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri respectively.

Celebrations

The festival is celebrated in different ways all across the country - In North India, a lot of devotees fast during this period or abstain from consuming non veg and alcoholic beverages. On the eight and ninth day, people also organize "kanjak" in their home where they invite young girls (under the age of 10) to their homes and feed them the traditional prasad of poori, halwa and black chana while also giving them gifts.

Timings and Puja Muhurat

This year, Ashtami Muhurat begins at 6:57 am on Oct 23 and ends on 6:58 am on Oct 24, 2020. Sandhi Puja Muhurat is from 06:34 am - 7:22 AM (Drik Panchang)

* Purushottam Maas or Adhik Maas is an extra month in the Hindu calendar that is inserted to keep the lunar and solar calendars aligned (Wikipedia)

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