Maha Navami marks the ninth night of Navratri and is folllowed the next day by Dussehrra. On the last day of the festival also known as Navami (ninth day), people pray to Siddhidhatri.
Dussehra is seen as the day that Lord Ram (Rama) killed Ravan (Ravana) of Lanka according the Ramayana Legend.
This year Maha Navami is on Thursday, October 14th.
On the last day of the festival also known as Navami (ninth day), people pray to Siddhidhatri. Sitting on a lotus, she is believed to possess and bestows all types of Siddhis. Here she has four hands. Also known as Mahalakshmi, The purple color of the day portrays an admiration towards nature’s beauty. Siddhidatri is Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Siddhidhatri is also seen as the Ardhanarishvara form of Shiva and Shakti. It is believed that one side of Lord Shiva’s body is that of Goddess Siddhidatri. Therefore, he is also known by the name of Ardhanarishwara. According to Vedic scriptures, Lord Shiva attained all the siddhis by worshiping this Goddess. In eastern India, Maha Navami is observed on this day and as important as Astami, in this day Animal sacrifice is done. Also navami homa is a very important ritual done in the tithi.
Dussehra is on Friday, October 15th
Also known as Vijayadashami, this day marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to restore and protect dharma. In the northern, central and western states, the festival is synonymously called Dussehra (also spelled Dasara, Dashahara). In these regions, it marks the end of Ramlila and remembers god Rama’s victory over Ravana. On the very same occasion, Arjuna alone decimated more than 1,000,000 soldiers and defeated all Kuru warriors including Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Karna and Kripa, a significant example of victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma).