Traditional Durga puja reaches its zenith on the sixth day of the Navratri which we also called ‘Maha Sasthi’. On the seventh day or ‘Mahasaptami’, rituals start in a very early morning called Nabapatrika.
When is Maha Saptami in 2020: Mahasaptami will be celebrated on October 23rd
Significance of Nabapatrika snan:
Nabapatrika means nine leaflets (bunch) from nine different plants along with the Kolabou (banana stem) is worshiped in red-bordered yellow saree, given a bath in the holy Ganga or at any nearby pond at dawn. [Nabapatrika plants are described in Bengali here: 1. রম্ভা/ কদলী(কলা), 2. কচু 3. হরিদ্রা (হলুদ), 4. জয়ন্তী ,5. বিল্ব(বেল), 6. দাড়িম্ব (ডালিম), 7. অশোক ,8. মান and 9. ধান]. Common people sometimes misinterpret Kolabou as the wife of Lord Ganesha, but as per mythology, Lord Ganesha’s wives are Ridhi & Siddhi. Here Nabapatrika is the symbol of the warrior goddess Durga who destroys eight demons including Shumbho/ Nishumbha before she finishes Mahishasura. Maa Durga in Nabapatrika’s image returns from Ganga by the priest together with a grand procession and many drummers/ percussionists and is placed next to Lord Ganesha’s idol. As per spiritual belief, Nabapartika is the ritual to bring life to the temple, so that the rest of the days Durga idols can be worshipped with other idols. Nabapatrika was also part of Krittivasi Ramayan, the day of Lord Ram preparing for the battle against the Ravana, the ten headed demon of Lanka.
Read more details in Bengali here….