The nine nights of Navratri are dedicated to the nine different avatars of Goddess Durga. Durga, the consort of Lord Shiva, assumed different avatars, each of which is invoked on every day of the festival starting with Shailputri, followed by Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.
During Navratri — which begins this year on September 26 and ends on October 5 with Dussehra — devotees fast diligently for all nine nights to seek the blessings of the Goddess. And, just like other Indian festivals, they buy new clothes and dress up every day.
Interestingly, each day of the festival is dedicated to a colour and people usually dress up in that colour. Not just that, the colour theme is seen in the vibrant decorations, too. Broadly, the nine colours are: yellow, green, grey, orange, white, red, royal blue, pink, and purple. While they remain the same year after year, the order changes depending on when Navratri falls.
- Day 1 – September 26 – white
- Day 2 – September 27 – red
- Day 3 – September 28 – royal blue
- Day 4 – September 29 – yellow
- Day 5 – September 30 – green
- Day 6 – October 1 – grey
- Day 7 – October 2 – orange
- Day 8 – October 3 – peacock green
- Day 9 – October 4 – pink
While white is synonymous with purity and innocence, red symbolises passion and love; royal blue represents tranquillity and yellow denotes festive cheer and happiness. Green is a symbol of growth and fertility, and grey represents balance of emotions. Orange stands for warmth and positive energy, peacock green for uniqueness and individuality; and finally, pink is for love, affection and harmony.
The Drik Panchang states that incorporating the particular colour of the day in your outfit of choice during Navratri is considered auspicious.