Those 9 colourful days ….
When we think of the word Nav means 9 and raatri means night yes .. Navaratri a festival which is most awaited especially among ladies … a festival which has fun, colors and a chance to have a social gathering…
It usually comes during autumn every year and is celebrated in different ways in India. The focus here is of South India….
You might have heard the elderly ladies in the house talking about Bommai Golu.. the display of doll celeberated during navaratri… Nice days of Navaratri resemble 9 avatars of Durga.x
Before the beginning of the festivals, the Golu padi is arranged.. these can be 3, 5,7 9 or 11. These steps represent the days of Navaratri.
The steps are usually covered by saree or veshti.. the dolls are then arranged in the respective steps. These dolls are figures of gods and Puranas example; dasha avatars of Vishnu, or Durga, few..Laxmi, Saraswati, Chettiar and his wife, Marapakshi to name a few
No golu is complete without a Kalash. The Kalash is filled with fresh water covered with a coconut and mango leaves. The Kalash is placed on the top most step in the center and is considered to represent the Goddess Durga.
Durga has many names the following are her 9 avatars for these 9 days of Navratri’s.
1st day – Shailputri
2nd day – brahmacharya
3rd day -Chandraghanta
4th day – Kushmanda
5th day – Skanda Mata
6th day – Katyayani
7th day -Kaalratri
8th day – MahaGauri
9th – Siddhidatri
10th day – Saraswati Puja or Vijayadashami where books are kept in the previous night and read seeking blessings of Goddess Saraswati
On Saraswati Puja or Vijayadashami books are kept in the previous night and read seeking blessings of Goddess Saraswati.
In south India, ladies call the neighbors and close friends for Vetalai Pak. Betel nuts, supari, and bangles of different colors. Every day different prasadam is made and given to ladies during these 9 days.
Later, on the evening of Vijayadasami, one of the dolls from the display is symbolically put to sleep this marks the end of Navaratri and we look forward to the next year’s event
The 9 days of Navaratri are filled with 9 colors Red, Blue, Yellow, Green Orange, grey, Pink, white, Royal Blue, Sky Blue … all of these bring joy in our life….
While I write this I remember a few lines composed by my brother- in- law:-
Golu padi calling everybody
Anj mani vaango Aar money vango..
Madyanam vaango illai Syangalam Vaango…
Ellarm vango Prasadam chapada vango.. golu paka vaango……..