Chaitra Navratri also known as Varshik Navratri is a festival observed for nine days in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April in Gregorian Calendar). The festival starts on the first day of Chaitra (Ugadi festival) and ends on the ninth day, which is Rama Navami. This year (2017), it was from 29th April to 6th April.
Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped during this time. People fast on all nine days. The first three days is dedicated to Goddess Durga, the next three days to Goddess Lakshmi, and the last three days to Saraswati.
Kanya Pooja also known as Kumari pooja is performed on the eighth and ninth day. Nine Girls under 10 years of age are invited home and are worshipped. Women wash the feet of the girls and apply Turmeric Powder and Vermilion on their feet. They tie holy thread on their wrist and perform Aarthi to all of them. Kheer, Poori, Halwa, and Kala Chana Subzi is served to the girls. Gifts are also distributed.
It is believed that if you observe these nine days will bring in good luck
People who celebrate this festival feel blessed and look forward to the coming year with positivity.