Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!


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September 20, 2011

Navratri / நவராத்திரி / Dusserah

Navratri festival which is celebrated through out India falls in the month of September - October. As per the Tamizh Lunar Calendar it falls in the month of "Puratassi" after the new moon day (called as Mahalaya Amavasai) and is celebrated for 10 days, ending on 10th day celebrated as Vijayadasami. It is celebrated in grand manner but in different ways in the nothern (as dusserah) & southern regions of India.

In North Each day of Navratri , bajans are conducted by ladies inviting other ladies to their home, offerings made to god and distributed as prasha d. In the evening hours, ladies, gents and children gather and play garba (espcially Gujaratis) till late hours of night.

Navratri is dedicated to the Goddess during which first 3 days, she is worshipped in the form of Shakthi (goddess of power), next 3 days in the form of Lakshmi (goddess for wealth) and the next 3 days in the form of Saraswathi (goddess for knowledge). In temples, the Goddess are decorated in the 3 forms on their respective days.

Golu / Kolu : 
 Image courtesy : google

As the Navrati approaches, the house is cleaned and maintained very neatly as it is believed that goddesses are invited in their homes to dwell with them. Then the box in which the dolls are saved are removed from the attic, cleaned, if required given a fresh coat of paint or glitters, dresses are made for them before they are displayed in the golu / Kolu padi. New idols also take their place in the golu/Kolu.

Navratri in the south is celebrated in many homes by displaying various dolls / idols neatly arranged in steps called Kolu padi. On the new moon day, the steps are set and the idols of god, kalash, rice & dal in each in separate bowl takes the first few steps, then comes the dolls of  Mahatmas like acharyas, scholars and then birds and other animals and human beings till the last step.  The most common idols in all golus are idols of the 3 godesses, Dasavatharam, Ram, Seetha, Laxman, Hanuman, Krishna, Sankaracharya, Vivekanandar, Shirdi Baba, Gautama Budha, Animals & Birds, Chettiar ayya and chettiar amma with their grocery shop. Some plan their golus theme based suiting to modern days. Park as an add on feature is created near golupadi using sand, on which grass is grown & dolls are place to create forest, resort or temple theme or mixture of all. The place is decorated nicely as per one's creativity & affordabillity using festoons, drapes, Illuminations etc.

The Neveidhyams or offering to the goddess vary as per the state and tradition of the people. Legumes, pulses, rice are offered in different forms as per their tradition. they can be sweet or salt & spicy viz., sundal, puttu, etc.

Mornings special offerings are made to the Goddess every day of navratri with the ladies chanting special slokas for goddess like "Lalithambal Sobanam, Devi padam, Devi Bhagavatham, etc."

Lady of the household invite relatives, friends and neighbours to their Kolu . Girl children dressed in silk blouse & skirt goes to different houses inviting the lady & children of the household offering saffron (kumkum).Some Ladies wear silk sarees, decorate their head with beautiful flowers and visits golu in their best attire with their children.

The guests are welcomed, offered seats (which is usually a mad laid on floor), chandan & kum kum. If they know to sing, the sings songs in praise of the goddess. Neivedhyams like sundal, puttu, payasam are offered to God.While the visitors take leave, they are offered kum kum again, betel leaves & nuts, banana, flowers, Haldi, gifts (optional) and the prashad of the day. The day ends with an arathi.

On 9th day of Navratri falls the saraswathi pooja. On that day the instruments, tools and books are placed neatly, covered with a cloth and pooja will be conducted in every household, offices and factories, worshipping Godess Saraswathi - the giver of good knowledge. People do pooja for their vehicles too on that day. The next day is the "vijaya dasami day" and all the books, tools & instruments are taken out after a pooja for use.

The navratri celebrations come to an end, when the idols are put to sleep (putting them in lie down position) on the steps and the next day, they are packed & saved properly for the next year.

Below are some more posts of mine on Navratri / Golu which may be of help to you

Yaa Devi Sarva Bhutheshu, Shakthi roopena samasthithaa
Namastasyay, namastasyay, namastasyay namo nama :
Yaa Devi Sarva Bhutheshu, Lakshmi roopena samasthithaa
Namastasyay, namastasyay, namastasyay namo nama :

Yaa Devi Sarva Bhutheshu, Vidyaa roopena samasthithaa
Namastasyay, namastasyay, namastasyay namo nama :

May the goddess bless you all and bring the prosperity and happiness to your home. Happy Navratri.

Jai Mata Di


Dr Sonia S V said...

wow what a lot of info!


Mira said...

Thank you Sonia :-)

Angel said...

really i miss chennai and those yummy sundals distributed during Navarathri kolu .thanks for sharing the info about the festival .

Mira said...

Welcome angelin. Same with me too. Thank you.

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