The 9 Colors Hindu Women Wear During Navratri and Why

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Hindu women celebrate nine colorful nights in honor of goddess Durga during the Navratri Festival.

Hindus have many festivals and celebrations that are held in honor of particular gods and goddesses. Most of these festivals also mark an important shift in climate or season, for example the beginning of spring or autumn. These two periods are also associated with solar changes which make them even more special. One such festival is the Navratri festival. In Sanskrit, Nav means nine while Ratri means nights. As such, Navratri is the festival of nine nights, held in honor of the Goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakmi.

The Navratri festival is celebrated twice a year with different names. The first one is the Chaitra Navratri while the second and more popular one is the Sharad Navratri. The Sharad Navratri will be held on October 1, and last for nine days, culminating in the Durga Puja on the 10th day (October 11). The final day is known as the Vijayadashami or Dussehra. Twenty days after Dussehra, the globally recognized Diwali festival will be held.

The Sharad Navratri is a celebration of the Goddess Durga and her nine different avatars or incarnations. It is believed that the worship of this goddess will give the devotees peace, prosperity and good health. During the Sharad Navratri, it is a popular custom for all women to wear clothes of a certain color on each day of the festival, in order to pay homage to each avatar of the goddess Durga. As is customary, the first color of the festival is chosen depending on the specific day of the week in which the festival begins. All other colors follow a certain order.

In 2016, the following are the colors that will be worn for each day:

  • Day 1 (October 1st) – Grey
  • Day 2 (October 2nd) – Orange
  • Day 3 (October 3rd) – White
  • Day 4 (October 4th) – Red
  • Day 5 (October 5th) – Royal Blue
  • Day 6 (October 6th) – Yellow
  • Day 7 (October 7th) – Green
  • Day 8 (October 8th) – Peacock Green
  • Day 9 (October 9th) – Purple

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