Navratri festival celebrates the nine avatars of Hindu Goddess Durga. It is celebrated with much pomp and splendor in different parts of the country. The festival covers a period of 9 nights and 10 days. If we take into account the Hindu calendar, the festival falls in the month of Ashvin. Each day of Navaratri is devoted to different forms of Goddess Durga and a different color is associated with each day. A curious fact is that special foods are prepared on each day corresponding to the color for that day. Navratri is a time for much merry-making and each state has different ways to celebrate it. It offers an excellent opportunity to understand the diversity of Indian culture and tradition.
Navaratri pays homage to the female divinity and marks the triumph of good over evil, which is also the theme of other Hindu festivals like Dussehra and Diwali.
The 9 Navratri Colors and Foods
1. Yellow – Kesar kheer or halwa
The first day of Navaratri is dedicated to Shailputri, or Goddess Parvati, the daughter of the mighty Himalaya. People prepare yellow color food on this day. Kesar ki kheer or kesar ka halwa is a sweet dish that can be made to celebrate the first day of Navaratri.
2. Green – Kacche kele ki barfi
The second day of Navaratri is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini, or Goddess Parvati in her unmarried state. On this day, one can prepare raw banana or kachcha kele ki barfi as it is green in color and the Navratri color for this day is green.
3. Grey – Kuttu ki puri
The third day of Navaratri is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. This name was given to Goddess Parvati because she adorned her forehead with the half-moon (Chandra) after her marriage to Lord Shiva. Those who are observing a fast on this day could prepare some kuttu ki sabji or kuttu ki puri.
4. Orange – Motichoor laddoo
The fourth day of Navaratri is dedicated to Devi Kushmanda, who is also known as the creator of the universe. She is a deity who has the power and capability to dwell within the sun. One can prepare Motichoor laddoo, an orange sweet, and offer it to the deity.
5. White – Makhane ki kheer
On the fifth day, Goddess Skandamata is worshipped. Skandamata is the mother of Skanda, also known as Lord Kartikeya. She rides a lion along with the baby in one of her hands.
6. Red – Beetroot and carrot juice
Goddess Katyayini, the warrior goddess, is worshipped on the sixth day. Red is the color for this day. On this day one can prepare beetroot and carrot juice which is red and color and healthy too.
7. Blue – Blueberries and prunes
Devi Kalaratri is honored on the seventh day. She was the goddess who killed the two demons, Shumbha and Nishumbha. Blue is the color of the day. Blueberries and prunes could be eaten on this day as they are blue in color.
8. Pink – Rose petal kulfi/ice-cream
The eighth day of Navaratri or Ashtami is dedicated to Mata Mahagauri. Pink is the color for this day. Some rose petal kulfi or ice-cream could be made on this day.
9. Purple – Anjeer
Navami, the ninth and final day, celebrates Devi Siddhidaatri, who is believed to possess all knowledge and wisdom. The color for this day is purple, so one can have a handful of anjeer or figs.