Celebrating Maha Navami 2020: Date, time and puja vidhi

Celebrating Maha Navami 2020: Date, time and puja vidhi

Maha Navami is the ninth day of the Navratri festival and marks the end of nine days of fasting. Navratri celebrates the power of Ma Durga. Maha Navami Puja is also the third and final day of Durga Puja. In 2020, Maha Navami Puja will be performed on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

Date and timing of Maha Navami 2020
Maha Navami marks the ninth and the final day of the war between Ma Durga and demon Mahishasura. According to the Puranas, Ma Durga killed the demon on the tenth day. This is the day where she is celebrated as Mahishasuramardini.

Maha Navami is the ninth day of the waxing phase of (Shukla Paksha) lunar month in the month of Ashwina (September – October). This year, Maha Navami falls on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

Navami tithi begins at 6.55 am on Saturday, 24 October 2020, and ends at 7.40 am on Sunday, 25 October 2020. Hence you can plan the Maha Navami puja anytime during this period.

The significance of Maha Navami
Maha Navami marks the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga wages war with demon Mahishasura and Maha Navami marks the final day of the battle with the demon.

In some states of India, including West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Tripura, Maha Navami is celebrated with enthusiasm. On this day, people worship Maa Durga in the form of Saraswati or the goddess of wisdom. Maha Navami is also the third and final day of Durga Puja.

Navami Homa is done on Maha Navami. It is one of the most important rituals done during the Durga Puja. The right time to perform Maha Navami Homa is at the end of Navami Puja. One performs this puja to seek the goddess' blessing for good health and prosperity.

Maha Navami Puja vidhi
The ninth day puja is performed on the same lines as the daily pujas during Navratri. The Maha Navami puja worships Saraswati or Siddhidatri (the ninth form of Maa Durga). The puja comprises Maha Snaan (a bathing ritual performed to the deity) and Shodashopachara Puja (sixteen types of offerings made to the goddess).

Durga Balidan
On the day of Maha Navami, Balidan or sacrifice is offered to the goddess Durga. While animal sacrifice is practiced in some parts, these days, many consider this inappropriate and symbolically offer a pumpkin. White pumpkin called Kushmand in Sanskrit is broken in front of the deity on Maha Navami as a symbol of sacrifice.

Maha Navami puja marks the conclusion of the Navratri puja done over the nine days. On this day, people break the fast they observed over the Navratri. The next day of Vijayadashami celebrates the victory of Maa Durga, and it is considered to be a highly auspicious day, one that marks new beginnings.