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The Sacred Connection: Celebrating Navratri with Plants

  • By Urvann

Navratri is the nine-day Hindu festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and holds immense significance In Hindu culture. It is a time of celebration, festivities, joy, finding a spiritual connection with the divine, fasting and much more, celebrated by millions of people across the country. The nine-day festival is also known for its colourful garba dances, traditional attires, and elaborate puja pandals, which often reflect the zeal for Goddess Durga.

In This blog, we will introduce another overlooked but important aspect of Navratri: the importance of plants and how they make this festival auspicious during these nine days of galore.

Green Symbolism

Navratri is divided into two major seasons:  Chaitra Navratri, which falls in March or April, and Sharad Navratri, which occurs in September or October. Both the seasons celebrate and worship the power of Goddess Durga. During these nine days. Greenery takes centre stage.

How, you ask?

Well! Read on.

The color green symbolizes prosperity and growth and devotees decorate their homes and temples with green mango plant leaves to welcome the blessings of Goddess Durga into their lives.

Sowing Khetri

During Navratri, Khetri seeds are planted in a pot on the first day, an important ritual. Khetri is barley seeds and the ritual is also called Ghatasthapana. The seeds germinate during the nine days, with the first shoots appearing on the third day. The successful growing of the khetri seeds symbolizes the presence of Mother Goddess Shakti and is also a symbol of hope, fertility and prosperity.

It is extremely satisfying to see the khetri seeds grow into small plants, considered to be an embodiment of the Goddess Durga.

The Navapatrika Ritual

One of the most symbolic rituals during Sharad Navratri is the 'Navapatrika' ceremony. Nine different plants are bundled together, representing nine goddesses. These nine plants typically include Banana plant leaves, turmeric, pomegranate, colocasia leaves, Ashoka leaves, arum plants, rice paddy, Jayanti plants, and Bel plant leaves. The Navapatrika is considered a symbol of the divine feminine and the interconnectedness of all life forms.

Fasting and Vegetarianism

Many devotees observe fasting during the nine days of Navratri and adhere strictly to a vegetarian diet as the practice reinforces the importance of respecting all living beings. It encourages people to consume vegetarian food and avoid harming animals, aligning with the principle of ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence.

Medicinal Plants and Healing

Navratri provides an excellent opportunity for us to understand the importance of plants as the days of fasting and consuming plant-based foods can help us understand the healing properties of plants. Plants such as Aloe Vera have been proven to have immense healing benefits and are widely used to treat many skin conditions. The Sacred Tulsi plant is also medicinal and it is widely used in making teas and ‘kadaahs’ that help in maintaining body immunity. 

Spiritual Connection

Beyond the physical and environmental aspects, plants hold a spiritual significance during Navratri. They are seen as symbols of life, growth, and abundance, mirroring the attributes of the goddess Durga. Devotees offer prayers and seek blessings for their well-being, just as they do from the divine mother.


The festival of Navratri is steeped in tradition and spirituality. The festival helps us become aware of our inner consciousness and understand the importance of Mother Nature in all aspects of our lives. Plants, in various forms, play an important role in the festival, giving people a chance to celebrate and absorb the essence of life, fertility and the divine feminine.

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