Navaratri is just knocking on the door. Now we are waiting to hear the sound of Dandiya stick and dhol. This is a nine-day celebration of pooja, along with food, friends, family, adda, and many more. This festival is celebrated in different parts of the country in different names and ways but the basic reason for the religious celebration remains the same – victory of evil over good and get the blessings of all reincarnations of Goddess Durga.
Navaratri Celebration in Gujrat
Navaratri is the most awaited festival in the state of Gujrat. Celebrated on the first nine days of Holy month (ashim month), every people who celebrate Navaratri keep fast for 9 days and worships Maa Shakti. During Navaratri Garba dance and Dandiya dance is the traditional and iconic dance performed by the men and women in Gujrat.
Navaratri Celebration in Tamil Nadu
The people of Tamil Nadu also celebrate Navaratri to seek the blessing of goddess Maa Durga and her two daughters, Ma Laxmi and Ma Saraswati. In Tamil Nadu, Navratri is also a nine-day celebration, three days for each goddess. They invite friends, family, and relatives to their home and the most interesting part of their celebration are they exchange new clothes, saree, jewelry, sweets money among the invited persons. They have another ritual that is decorating “KOLU” which is a 9-step staircase each step represents each night. Each night they decorate one stair with various dolls, idols, candles, and many more. It is said that the dolls that they use to decorate are handed over from generation to generation.
Navratri in West Bengal
In the eastern part of India especially in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam they celebrate Navaratri as Durga puja. The people of these particular states waited for 365 for Maa to arrive. It is observed at the last five days of Navaratri as Sasti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dashami. Durga puja is the major festival in West Bengal. Especially if you live in Kolkata, you can feel the emotion of every Bengalis. They treat Maa Durga as a daughter that she comes after a year from in-law’s house to her father’s house in Bengali which is called “Baper Bari”.
Durga Pooja is celebrated with great solemnity and glitter in various parts of the states in big pandals, where large-sized idols of Goddess Durga on her lion, demon Mahishasur. She comes with her two daughters Maa Laxmi and Maa Saraswati along with two sons Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. On Shashthi where the local community welcomes the Goddess and festive celebrations are inaugurated. On the seventh day Saptami, eighth Ashtami, and ninth Navami, Durga along with her sons and daughters are revered and these days mark the main Durga Pooja vidhi with Sanskrit recitation of the scriptures and the legends of Durga in Devi Mahatmya and social visits by families to elaborately decorated and lighted up temples and Pandals.
A very special pooja meal call “Bhog” which people serve to all those who come to visit the pandals. On the last day called Vijaya Dashami, married women play ‘Sindoor Khela’ wherein they play with Sindoor and apply it to each other’s heads and faces. After that, a great procession is held where the clay statues are ceremoniously walked to a river or ocean coast for a whole-hearted goodbye to Maa Durga.
Navaratri in Goa
Goa is a place where you can find a thousand types of people. But the local people celebrate Navaratri very differently. On day one, a copper pitcher is installed surrounded by clay. Inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Goddess and Krishna temples. Celebrations include placing the Goddess image in a decorated colorful silver swing, known as Makhar in the Konkani language and for each of the nine nights, she is swung to the tune of temple music with devotees singing Kirtan and waving lamps. This is locally called Makharotsav. This Utsav is like an icebreaker for all the tourists, locally they call it Makhar Arati.
How to Celebrate at Home
Decorate Your House
until or unless you decorate your home the celebration doesn’t look like a celebration. Decoration doesn’t mean you have to appoint a five-star event planner or something like that. We re sharing some ideas to spruce up your home this Navratri. You can paint your house in earthy colors for Navratri. You can also use flower garlands and wreaths for decoration. Scented candles, reed infusers give a pure and serene feeling to the guests who visit your house. You can enhance your pooja decor with antiques and figurines. You can make rangolis or Alpana outside the house. Light diyas inside the pooja room to make it brighter naturally.
Pooja at Your Place
Some so many people celebrate Navaratri at their apartment. West Bengal, Assam peoples celebrate community wise which is called “Parar Pooja”. In this situation, we have to be a little conscious we understand this festival is everyone’s emotion but something is always better than nothing. Do pooja at your home, invite your friends and family and enjoy safely.
Variety of Foods
foods play a significant role in Navaratri. Navratri is one of the most awaited festivals as it brings a never-ending food ride along with dandiya, pooja, and bhog. Though we celebrate Navaratri in different places every culture has its rituals but one important aspect remains constant food with indifferent delicacies. Sabudana Khichdi along with sabudana papad is the most popular food item during Navaratri. Except that kuttu ki ate ki puri is another most desirable food during Navaratri. In sweets Singhare ke ate ka halwa, Pumpkin Halwa are famous.
Now for Bengali's they make different types of bhog on different days. Like on Sashti, Saptami and Ashtami Khichdi is a must along with mix veg which is call “Labra in Bengali” and five types of vegetable fry. They make khichdi with Govinda Bhog chal which is a short grain scented rice. on Navami, there is something different like polaw, panner, etc.
By the way, if you are celebrating at home, you can make paneer tikka. You will get marinated panner tikka at our online store. Our request is please do not do diet during the festival. If you still want something healthy but of course tasty and want to keep the tradition. Just come on to our online store and you will get Vegan tofu vindaloo which is healthy but very tasty. Also, you will get so many vegetarian options on our store.
Let the blessings of Maa Durga usher you. On the holy occasion of Durga Puja and Navaratri, we pray to Goddess Durga to give good health and happy moments and shower her choices blessing on all of us.
We Wish Everyone a Very Happy Navratri!