As Navratri occurs twice a year, people tend to confuse the two and many of them don’t know the difference between the two of them. Generally, when we think of Navratri we think of dandiya raas, fasting, and festivities. But that is the one that is called Sharad Navratri that occurs between September and October in the lunar month of Ashwin.
There’s another Navratri celebrated in the spring-summer months of March and April called Chaitra Navaratri or Vasantha Navaratri. Both the festivals involve fasting for nine days, performing pujas and worshipping the forms of Shakti.
As we head towards Navratri, let’s know the difference between Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri
Chaitra or Vasantha Navratri
Vasantha Navaratri or Chaitra Navratri is celebrated during the Shukla Paksha of the Chaitra month. The nine-day festival also marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar. Around this time, various regions in India observe the New Year as Ugadi, Vishu, Gudi Padwa or Navreh. Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated mainly in the northern parts of India. The changing of the seasons from spring to summer is also a reason why Chaitra Navratri is observed.
On a ninth day, Ram Navami that is the birth of Lord Rama is celebrated.
Sharad Navaratri is the one that is celebrated with much pomp and fervor in the country. It is also Known as Maha Navaratri celebrated in the month of Ashwin. Sharad signifies the beginning of winters, and that is the reason it comes in the months of September-October.
Like Chaitra Navaratri, Sharad Navaratri also celebrates Shakti or the supreme feminine energy. In Bengal, the festival is known as Durga Puja. But unlike Chaitra Navaratri, Sharad Navaratri observes nine days of dandiya raas.
Totally, there are four Navaratri in a year. Apart from Chaitra and Sharad, there are also Ashada Navaratri and Magha Navaratri.