The Colors of Navratri

navratri
Image credits: Bindu Gopal Rao

Dasara, Dussehra or Navratri is a nine-day long festival that celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. These nine nights have a specific color of the day and you can celebrate by wearing clothes and accessories of these shades too. Here is a helpful guide.

Ghatasthapana/Pratipada, Day 1: October 7 – Yellow

The first day is dedicated to Goddess Shailaputri, a form of Parvati. Shaila means extraordinary and one who reaches great heights. The goddess has a trident and a lotus in her hands and sits on a bull. It is believed that the worship of Goddess Shailaputri helps achieve a high state of consciousness. Yellow is worn on this day as it celebrates the color of bright sunshine, optimism, and joy. The Goddess is offered a rice flour sweet called Chalimidi as well as Kheer and soaked moong, Vadapappu, as a way to kick off the Navratri festivities.

Dwitiya, Day 2: October 8 – Green

The second day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharni, a form of Parvati who has done extreme penance and is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Adorned with rudraksha, she has a water pot and rosary in her hands. This is a day where one can focus on meditation. The color for this day is green, that symbolizes nature and prosperity. Sweet Boondhi and Chickpeas are offered as prasad.

Tritiya, Day 3: October 9 – Grey

Dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta, a form of Durga who sits on a tiger as a symbol of strength, her hands gestures bless devotees as well as indicate prevention of misdeeds. Chandra means moon and she wears a half-moon on her forehead. Grey is the color of the day and the offerings of the day includes Tamarind Rice (Puliogare) and Rava Kesari. Milk is also offered to the Goddess.

Panchami, Day 4: October 10 – Orange

This is the day of Navratri dedicated to Goddess Kushmanda whose name is associated with the creation of the cosmic universe from a divine egg. The eight-armed Goddess sits on a tiger and holds a rosary and other sporting weapons and is a form of energy. This is also one of the reasons why the color of the day is bright orange, a hue known for its warmth and exuberance. Tamarind rice and lentil vadas are usually made as offerings on this day.

navratri
Image credits: mpanchang.com

Sashti, Day 5: October 11 – White

Goddess Skandmata seated on a lion and represents the love of a mother and she blesses her devotees with wisdom, wealth, power, and prosperity. With three eyes and four hands, she holds two lotuses and has symbols of defending worshippers and granting boons in the other two. White is the color of this day and symbolizes serenity and peace. Bananas are offered as prasad on this day.

Saptami, Day 6: October 12 – Red

Goddess Katyayani, worshiped on this day of Navratri is one who destroys all evil forces of the universe and slays the demon Mahishasura. Seated on a lion she has three eyes and four arms. The color of the day is red, signifying health, life, infinite courage, love, and intense passion and is usually the color of a chunri (or duppata) offered to the Goddess. Beaten rice, jaggery, coconut and channa dal are offered to the Goddess.

Ashtami, Day 7: October 13 – Royal Blue

This day represents the dark night and is dedicated to worship Goddess Kalaratri, a fierce form of Durga. The Goddess is worshiped in the night and people believe she destroys the fear of darkness. The Goddess sits on a donkey and has four hands, two with a cleaver and a torch and two in giving and defending mudras. Royal Blue is the color of the day and is associated with royalty and elegance. Vada, lemon juice with ginger and items made with jaggery are offered to the Goddess.

Navami, Day 8: October 14 – Pink

Goddess Mahagauri known for her inner beauty and freedom is worshipped on this day. Known to be a source of life-giving energy, she radiates peace and compassion and her arms have a drum and a trident and she sits on a bull. Pink is the color of the day and is representative of universal love, affection, feminine charm, harmony, and kindness. Sweet Pongal and coconuts are offered on this day.

Dashami, Day 9: October 15 – Purple

Goddess Siddhidatri is worshipped on the last day of Navratri. She sits on a lotus and is believed to have the ability to grant 26 different wishes to her devotees and is said to make the impossible, possible. Purple is the color for the that has the energy of red and stability of blue. Sesame based dishes are offered to the Goddess.