Celebrations spread over nine auspicious nights to mark the victory of good over evil also known as Navarathri begin today.
In Tamil Nadu Navarathri is celebrated by setting up a gallery of handcrafted dolls representing major deities, scenes from everyday life, thematic doll sets representing mythological events or even modern day happenings and so on. Arrangements of dolls are always in odd numbered levels and are accompanied by home grown ragi and other handcrafted themes on the side. A golden glow of sesame oil lit lamps graces the kolu in the evening and a simple puja is performed. Women visit each others homes to see the kolu. It’s a norm to be asked to sing especially if one is young – the knowledge of music was once upon a time considered indispensable for a “nalla ponnu” (good girl). In essence Navarathri is all about creativity and socializing – there is no ritual apart from the ritual of being expected to be creative.
Neiveidyam or Prasaadam is Sundal – each day a dry bean/legume is cooked with mustard seeds and coconut. Guests are seen off with offerings of chandanam (sandalwood paste), Kumkumam and Tambulam (Betel Leaves with Coconut Mustard and Arecanuts).
In another more detailed post we’ll give you glimpse of a real kolu and share recipes we prepare for Navarathri, for now we start our celebrations with a tiny kolu we put together for sharing with our readers.
Navarathri wishes to all our readers!!