Chaitra Navratri ( devoted to the worship of Goddess Durga ) is a Nine day festival that begins from first day of the Chaitra month as per Hindu Lunar Calendar. Chaitra Navratri is also known as Vasant Navratri. The 9th day of Chaitra Navratri usually celebrated as the Birth of Lord Rama ( Ram Navami ). This year, Chaitra Navratri will begin from Wednesday, 22nd of March and will conclude on Thursday, 30th of March 2023 and Ram Navami will also be celebrated on Thursday, 30th of March 2023.
Nine Days of Chaitra Navratri & Nine Forms of Maa Durga :
1st Day ( Wednesday, 22nd March 2023 ) : On the first day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped as 'Shailputri' She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. This form of Goddess Durga rides a bull and carries a trident and a lotus in her two hands.
2nd day ( Thursday, 23rd March 2023 ) : The second form of Goddess Durga is known as 'Brahmacharini'. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati. She is blissful and bestows happiness, peace, prosperity and grace upon all devotees who worship her. Worshiping this form of Goddess Durga is also a way to attain Moksha.
3rd day ( Friday, 24th March 2023 ) : On the third day of Navratri the Goddess is worshipped as 'Chandraghanta'. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery. She has a ‘chandra’ or half moon on her forehead in the shape of a ‘ghanta’ or bell. That is why she is called ‘Chandraghanta’. She is charming and has ten hands, three eyes and holds weapons in her hands.
4th day ( Saturday, 25th March 2023 ) : On the fourth day of Navratri the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kushmanda'. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe which she has created by her smile. The universe was full of darkness, until her light spreads in all directions like rays from the sun. She has eight hands and holds weapons, glitter, rosary, etc., in her hands.
5th day ( Sunday, 26th March 2023 ) : On the fifth day of Navratri, Goddess is worshipped as 'Skand Mata'. She is actually called so because she is the Mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army. She is accompanied by the Lord Skanda in his infant form. Skanda Mata has four arms and three eyes, holds the infant Skanda in her right upper arm and a lotus in her right hand which is slightly raised upwards. The left arm is in pose to grant boons with grace and she holds a lotus in left lower hand which is also raised.
6th day ( Monday, 27th March 2023 ) : On the sixth day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Katyayani'. Goddess Katyayani rides on a magnificent Lion and she has four hands. She carries lotus flower and sword in her right hands and keeps her left hands in Abhaya and Varada Mudras.
7th day ( Tuesday, 28th March 2023 ) : On the seventh day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kalratri'. Her complexion is dark black and she rides on a donkey. She is depicted with four hands. Her right hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra and she carries sword and the deadly iron hook in her left hands.
8th day ( Wednesday, 29th March 2023 ) : On the eight day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Maha Gauri'. She is considered to be extremely beautiful, white like snow and she wears white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits Wisdom. Her power is unfailing and praying to her is instantly fruitful. The left upper hand holds a ‘Damaru’ and the lower one is in the pose of granting boons to her devotees. 8th day of Navratri is also known as Durga Ashtami.
9th day ( Thursday, 30th March 2023 ) also celebrated as Ram Navmi : On the ninth day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Siddhidatri'. It is believed she is bestower of all the eight Siddhis. She lives on lotus and has Supernatural healing powers. In ‘Devi Bhagvata Purana’ it is mentioned that Lord Shiva worshipped her and was blessed with all Siddhis (supernatural powers). By her blessings his half body became female and other half body male in the avatar of Ardhnarishwar.