Navratri is a popular and auspicious Hindu festival which is observed for a period of nine nights and ten days. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga, who is considered the embodiment of the combined forces of all the Gods in the Hindu pantheon. The festival as such marks the triumph of good over evil and celebrates the liberation of all auspicious attributes. The Goddess manifested as Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri, each with their own unique characteristics. Navratri venerates all nine avatars of Durga and each form is worshiped individually on all the nine days of the festival. Hence, devotees wear different colored garments on each day, symbolic of the nine forms of the Goddess. These colors are Yellow, Red, Orange, Pink, Royal Blue, White, Grey and Green.
The colors may vary from day-to-day every year, with the first color being decided based on the week day when the festival commences. However, the same colors apply every year; it is only the order of the colors that changes from day-to-day.
The nine colors of the Navratri festival for the year 2017 are mentioned in the order of the day they fall on:
Each color carries its own special significance during the Navratri festival, while also representing one different form of Goddess Durga.
Ghatasthapana / Pratipada – Day 1 (Yellow)
The first day of the Navratri festival is observed with the worship of ‘Shailaputri Maa’ (daughter of the mountains). Goddess Durga is also revered as Parvati or Hemavati on this day and she is depicted in yellow colored garments.
Dwitiya – Day 2 (Green)
The second day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Brahmacharini. This form of the Goddess is considered highly beneficial for meditation, with green being the color for the day.
Tritiya – Day 3 (Grey)
The third day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Chandraghanta. This form of the Goddess symbolizes beauty, valor and tranquility. She is depicted in Grey garments on this day.
Chaturthi – Day 4 (Orange)
The fourth day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Kushmanda. She symbolizes energy in this form and is depicted in Orange garments on this day.
Panchami – Day 5 (White)
The fifth day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Skandamata, who is depicted in White garments. Devotees observe ‘Lalitha Gauri Vrat’ (fast) on this day.
Shashti – Day 6 (Red)
The sixth day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Katyayani. She is depicted in Red garments on this day.
Saptami – Day 7 (Royal Blue)
The seventh day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Kaalratri. She is depicted in Royal Blue garments on this day. It is also the day when the Utsav Puja is celebrated and the beginning of the Maha Saptami period.
Ashtami – Day 8 (Pink)
The seventh day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Maha Gauri. She is depicted in Pink garments.Devotees also perform the ‘Saraswati Puja’ on this day.
Navami / Dasami – Day 9 (Purple)
The seventh day of Navratri is observed by worshiping Goddess Siddhidatri. This is considered the ninth and last form of Goddess Durga and she is depicted in Purple garments on this day.
The above mentioned article sums up the various forms of Goddess Durga and the significance of the color for every individual day. The Goddess is worshiped with deep reverence by devotees, who seek her blessings for a peaceful and prosperous life. All the rituals and ceremonies conducted during the Navratri festival have immense religious and spiritual significance. Besides wearing the different colors of every particular day, people also observe a fast during the nine day festival period.