Navrathri & Dussehra are very important at my home and we all look forward to it eagerly. The bring out happiness, hope and it is so much fun! Though festivals are time consuming and physically taxing, they are best way to refresh our minds. They give us the much needed happy break from our work. They bring our family together and they bring color to our otherwise dull life.
This is a picture heavy post and I have tried to explain what each iconic doll’s depicts.
So let's move on..
The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or "Dussehra." Navratri is a very important and major festival in the western states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka during which the traditional dance of Gujarat called "Garba" is widely performed. This festival is celebrated with great zeal in North India as well, including Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and the northern state of Punjab.
What we do:
In our home, we arrange dolls in a stage that looks like a step. The steps should be of odd numbers like 3,5,7,9,11 etc. The dolls which we arrange are not just dolls. Some of them had been with our family for more than 60 years. They are handed over generations after generations.
We have arranged our dolls in two five-step stages. As 2+2 = 10 which happens to be an even number, we added one more tiny level in one of the five steps to make it as 11.
We keep the dolls like this for a nine-day period. First three days is dedicated to Ma Durga (goddess of victory and bravery), the next three days to Ma Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) and the last three days to Ma Saraswathi (goddess of wisdom). The last day of Navarathri is celebrated as Dussehra and it symbolizes the victory of Good over evil.
During these 9 days, we invite ladies of all ages (they symbolize divinity) to our home to see the Golu (doll arrangement is called Golu). We give them the sacred tambulam (a pack of banana, coconut, kumkum, turmeric, beetle leaf, beetle nut, some money and a gift). We sing songs, dance, play musical instruments every evening for the Golu and during these nine days, it is believed that the Golu gets the power of God. We also make delicious traditional snacks and sweets to as neiveidyam (sacred offering) and serve to the guests.
(We also dress up in our best outfits and i got a white saree with red border and gold works)
all our evening celebrations are over, we take aarathi for the Golu to
symbolize the end of that evening’s celebration. The next day we start with a
simple prayer and the song, dance and treat continues.
|This baby Krishna is almost 70 years old.|
|This Shri Ganesha made from Terracotta is so cute.|
|The 8 lakshmi's and the God who has this horse head is called Shri Hyagreevar. He is the Guru of Ma Saraswathi|
|A closer view|
|This is the scene where Shri Narasimha Swami, an avatar of Lord Vishnu comes out of a pillar for his Baktha Praklad in answer to his claim that God is everywhere. Praklad's father the demon kind Hiranyakasipu and his soldiers look on|
|This one needs no introduction. Lord Krishna mesmerising Gopikas with his divine music.|
|Family of Lord Shiva with the divine sage Naradha|
These dolls are made by artisans in a village near Vishakapatnam. My dear aunt, who resides in Canada ordered it for me and it came in parcel well packed. These dolls are made of wood. Pretty isn't?
Hope you girls enjoyed visiting our home virtually for Navrathri. Wish you all the very best and may this Dussehra bring you all the happiness.