Navratri, the nine-day long festival, is celebrated across India during the autumn season. The festival begins with Ghatasthapana also known as Kalashsthapana, a traditional ritual that symbolises the commencement of the occasion for nine-days. In 2018, Sharadiya Navratri begins on October 10 and ends on October 18.
- Take a shallow pan like utensil also called as ‘paraat’ or a wide clay pot as the base and fill it with mud. Spread a layer of soil in the pot and then spread Saptadhanya or Navadhanya (seven/nine different grains). Add the second layer of soil and scatter the second layer of grains. Now add the third and final layer of the soil and sprinkle some water on it.
- Take a Kalash fill it with water and drop few coins, areca nut (supari), durva grass, scent and raw rice in it. Place five mango leaves (or five different fruit leaves) around the neck of the kalash. Tie a sacred thread around the neck of the kalash from outside. Place a coconut on the kalash.
- Now place the kalash in the centre of the grain pot. Apply haldi-kumkum. Sprinkle some water daily.
- Offer prayers to Goddess Durga and oblige her to reside into the kalash for Navratri.
- Perform ‘Panchopachara Puja’. The puja is performed by offering five items – lamp, incense sticks, scent/ chandan, flowers and fruits/bhog – to the goddess.
- On Vijayadashmi, the plants are distributed among devotees in the form of prasad.
Ghatasthapana Muhurta: October 10, 6:22 am to 7:25 am
Pratipada tithi begins: 9:16 am on October 9
Pratipada tithi ends: 7:25 am on October 10