Maha Navami is celebrated on the Navami tithi of Aswina masa across India in most North Indian states as part of the 10-day Durga Puja festivities notably in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Bihar. On this day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped with great fervour, devotion, and joy.
Maha Navami Date 2023
Mon , 23rd Oct 2023
All the three Goddess - Goddess Durga, Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswathi are worshipped on this day. Lord Ganesha and Karthikeya are also worshipped along with the goddesses. ‘'Devi Mahatmya’' chant is a special mantra recital on the day of Mahanavami, which entails the legends of Goddess Durga.
According to mythological stories and Devi Purana, Durga's final battle against Mahishasura, the demon king lasted for nine days and the ninth day being Mahanavami. The Goddess won over the evil demon with her power and wisdom. Maha Navami is also considered as the beginning eve of Vijaya Dashami. In Southern states of India, this festival is an opportunity to pay gratitude to tools, machinery and weapons. People decorate and worship their vehicles and educational tools.
Maha Navami in West Bengal
In West Bengal, Maha Navami is celebrated on the third and final day of the three day -Durga Puja festivities. Grand festivities of the day commence with the ritual bath called the ‘'mahasnan’ of Nabapatrika rolled in Banana leaf sapling and special puja called ‘'shodashopachar puja’'. This Nabapatrika is taken to the large tents or ‘'pandals’' where the Durga idol is set up. Sandhi puja is performed in the Ashtami-Navami tithi juncture or evening twilight time. The idols are usually beautifully sculpted and well decorated on this day. A special ritual of Navami hom is performed at the end of Maha Navami puja.
Another ancient tradition of Navami bali or sacrifice of vegetables and coconuts are practiced. Devotees visit these ‘'pandals’ and temples, dressed in their best attire and finery, along with their family and friends. They also exchange Sweets and gifts. Bengali communities settled in various parts of India and the world also organise Durga Pujo and pandals where they worship and celebrate the feminine Goddess.
North and Eastern India
In North and East India, Kanya Puja or Kumari puja is performed on this day. According to this ritual, nine young girls in the age of 6-10 are worshipped as nine forms of Goddess Durga. Their feet are washed as patha puja, kumkum and sandalwood paste are applied on their feet. New clothes are offered to wear and followed by mantras recital and offering lamps & incense. Special food and desserts are cooked for them. They are offered gifts as tokens of love and respect.
Southern States of India
In some rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, Batthukamma festival is held on Navami. This festival is a procession of pyramid of flowers arranged in a typical seven layer to form a conical shape. Gauri, a form of Parvathi is worshipped on this day. Other poojas like Suvasini Puja and Dampati puja are also performed as part of Maha chandi homa or Nava Chandi Homa.
In Mysore, Karnataka, the Royal sword of the Vijayanagara empire is taken out in processions on illustrated elephants and camels, this procession is filled with gala and colours and is witnessed huge crowd.
In Tamilnadu and Kerala, Ayudha Puja is celebrated. Tools, machineries, musical instruments, books, and equipments of all kinds including automobiles are decorated and worshipped. This day is considered vital to pay gratitude to inanimate things that contribute in making the life easy.
Maha Navami festival dates between 2019 & 2029
Sunday, 6th of October
Saturday, 24th of October
Thursday, 14th of October
Tuesday, 4th of October
Monday, 23rd of October
Friday, 11th of October
Wednesday, 1st of October
Monday, 19th of October
Friday, 8th of October
Tuesday, 26th of September
Monday, 15th of October