Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
Starting this Tuesday is Navraatri; the nine nights in celebration of the Goddess/feminine aspect and on the tenth day is Vijaydashami - the day of victory. Last year the basics of Navraatri were given here. What was not mentioned was the colour-coordination. This is, after all, the female we are discussing!!! Each day of the festival, ladies will wear new saris according to the ordained colour for that day's puja. They are -
Brahmacharini - royal blue
Chandraghanta - yellow
Kushmanda - green
Skandamaata - grey
Kaatyayani - orange
Kaalratri - white
Mahagauri - pink
Siddhadatri - sky blue
There are some variations in the order of the colours which may pertain to region or annual cycle… and occasionally, groups of ladies will make their own arrangements on colour, not necessarily tied to the traditional. On Vijayadashami, the tenth day, any (and all!) colours are worn.
The key thing is to show solidarity and sisterhood and acknowledging that all women go through the nine stages as represented by the faces of the Goddess. The first three manifestations are faces of Sri Lakshmi, mother of wealth and growth; the next three are of Sri Durga, the active, reproducing female who must also be prepared to defend as well as care for her family; the final three are Sri Saraswati, the patron of peace, skills and wisdom.
Mother Durga is also celebrated on Vijayadashami for her victory over a demon who had been distracting her devotees (ego); implied in that celebration is also the power of service provided by Sri Lakshmi and the input of knowledge provided by Saraswati-ji. Many educational institutions around India hold a special puja on this day to have the text books of the students blessed.