1st day : Navratri 2020 Start Date
The day of maa Shailaputri, March 25, 2020 (Wednesday)
Preparations: Those who want the blessings of maa Durga for health, prosperity and peace, should start the Navratri Puja in a planned manner.
The first step is to establish an earthen pitcher (Ghat Sthapana) before starting Puja.
Ghat Sthapana: Get a new small earthen pitcher, fill it with water mixed with holy Ganga water (gangajal), cover it with fresh mango tree leaves and keep a coconut with threads (as used in Puja) over it. The coconut should be wrapped in red colour new cloth and the cloth is tied with the help of sacred thread of red colour ( Mauli).
Second step is to prepare an earthen pot filled with sand. Sow the barley seeds in this pot. All these items are usually available at a Puja store near by.
Third step is to prepare an idol or picture of maa Durga which could be brought fresh from market or the existing in the house may be used.
Fourth step is to make a suitable place in the house for the worshipping for next few days. Once set up these items should not be moved during the Navratri Puja. As per vaastu consideration the place should preferably be located in the north east area of the house when measured from inside of house.
Fifth step is to clean the place, spread a red colour clean cloth used as the base and set up all above items properly.
Sixth step is to get ready for worshipping. The whole family may assemble for prayers after taking bath. They should call upon all Devgana (all Gods and Godesses) to take their place at this place into the pitcher. Call upon maa Durga to be present for rest of the Navratri at your place (This is called avvahan). Virtually believing that all deities have taken their places, the prayers may began.
Before starting prayers, lighten up a lamp with pure ghee. Either keep the lamp in a plate to move in circulatory motion during chanting of prayers or use a lamp with handle to do puja. Offer flower garlands to the deities. Make arrangement for Dhoop for scent.