Wednesday, October 16, 2013

N has to be for 'Navratri'

.. the nine nights of celebration. Few other festivals can match this one in colour, music or the sheer energy of it all. What I completely love is how the same festival is celebrated across India in so many different ways. The message, however, remains the same - 'A clebration of the victory of good over evil'.

In North India: 
where I was born - Navratri meant nine days of fasting. At night we would go to see the Ramlila where scenes from Lord Ram's life would be enacted culminating in Dussehra and the burning of the effigy of Ravana on the tenth day. What fun it was.

In Western India:
specially in Gujarat Navaratri is synonymous with dancing. Over the last decade since I've been shuttling between  Bombay and Pune I've come to realise that no written word or pictures can match the energy of a real live dandiya dance. It has to be seen to be believed. Can there be anything more colourful that the traditional garba dresses? N specially loves Navratri for this reason alone.

Down South: 
people put up the golu. The first time I was invited to one I had no clue what it was. Idols are displayed in a typical step fashion and friends and relatives are invited home. This one is from a friend's house this year. Strange, isn't it.. how we keep on discovering new things about our country?

I love the add ons she did just for fun - a village scene

and that cricket pitch - her son's contribution.

And in the East:
There's Durga Puja. Maa Durga is believed to visit her 'home' during these nine days and what a welcome people give her! Majestic idols of the goddess are put up and worshiped. On the last day they are immersed in water. Bengalis all over the country celebrate it but I guess it'll be something else in Calcutta, I've yet to experience that.

I've talked about just four versions of Navratri. Apparently there are many many more... in Goa, In Andhra Pradesh, in Himachal Pradesh... Seriously India is a hundred countries all rolled into one.

Linking to  ABC Wednesday


  1. Thank you for all the information and the pictures of the dress.

  2. india has a fascinating and colorful history and traditions.

  3. Learned a whole lot I never even knew of
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Wow, the colours are faNtastic!

    abcw team

  5. Colourful variety in the way we celebrate in different parts of the country underline the common message of triumph oof good over evil and the great joy that accompanies it.

  6. Wonderful post with beautiful pics and lovely narration

  7. I discovered Golu dolls on a blog last year. Isn't that a fascinating tradition. Would love to see some live displays!

  8. Thanks all.
    Shilpa: That's the thing... You live in a country all your life yet there are aspects you are totally unaware of till you move out or of course stumble upon it on the Net.

  9. I was in this bunglow in Chennai who had more than 4000 dolls in the Golu display including 1200 Ganesh idols..

    PhenoMenon, ABC Wednesday Team

  10. Both kids are looking totally traditional. Pics are beautiful. however I discovered this Golu Decoration first time this year.

  11. Cool entry for N.
    Hope you had a memorable time, one that will last till next year. :)

  12. PhenoMenon: 4000 dolls.. amazing!
    Aakanksha: Thanks.
    Indrani: Might last for me but the kids want a dandiya every month :-)

  13. Lovely traditions and colourful clothes! Thank you for this heartwarming post!
    Have a great time .
    Wil, ABCW Team

  14. Love the colors in the traditional outfits. Thank you for sharing.


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