Navratri, nine nights of the Goddess, starts in a couple of days. This is definitely my favourite festival, I’m looking forward to seeing the huge Goddess Durga idols on every street. Different communities celebrate Navratri in different ways. Here in Maharashtra, it’s popular to celebrate Navratri with colours. My mother-in-law and her friends wear a different colour saree every day of Navratri.
The order of these colours changes ever year, and it seems a bit complicated, most people depend on the Marathi newspapers to tell them which colour to wear when. The day Navratri starts depends on the Hindu calendar, and each colour has a specific day of the week (Western calendar). So, the first colour of Navratri depends on what day of the week the festival starts, and the order continues from there.
Well, I think that’s how it works anyway…
Navratri Colours for 2016
Night 1 (Saturday, 1st October 2016) Grey
Night 2 (Sunday, 2nd October 2016) Orange
Night 3 (Monday, 3rd October 2016) White
Night 4 (Tuesday, 4th October) Red
Night 5 (Wednesday 5th October ) Royal Blue
Night 6 (Thursday 6th October) Yellow
Night 7 (Friday 7th October) Green
Night 8 (Saturday 8th October) Peacock Green (some sources say Pink)
Night 9 (Sunday 9th October) Purple
It may sound superficial to some, more fashion statement than devotion, but there is something special about it. Everyone wearing the same colours for nine days brings a feeling of unity. Having fun, celebrating together, getting involved with their community. Furthermore, when I was studying art, way back when I was seventeen, I remember reading extensively about the alternative therapy, colour therapy. It’s a holistic healing method where different colours are used to promote persons physical, emotional and spiritual well being. It’s quite interesting, the colours may just help rejuvenate your Goddess energy?
Last year, I was pregnant and suffering with morning sickness. Morning sickness? It should be called ‘all day’ sickness. Anyway, I digress…
I was feeling sick, and being sick, so I missed out on a lot of the Navratri celebrations. I did attend a couple of functions. My mother-in-law and I when to her friend’s house and a group of about thirty ladies, wearing green silk sarees (green was the 4th day last year), sang folk songs to the Goddess. It was lovely. We also went to a couple family friends houses to attend their Navratri functions.
This year, I’m going to try to add each of the Navratri colours into my day, every day. I would love to wear nine sarees (I don’t have sarees in all the colours, but my mother-in-law has such a collection!), but with breastfeeding, nappy changing and teething drool, it’s not practical. I’m going to try my best to add each colour into our day, somehow.