India is a land of many cultures and traditions, however most of the festivals across the country happen to be celebrated around the same time. Though in South the festivals begin in the month of "Aadi" or "Ashad" as per the Indian calendar (which begins in and around July 15th) , the real tempo sets in with the onset of Navarathri. The houses and temples wear a festive look and it is time for people to get together visit each other's house, wear bright clothes, and eat special food. People tend to forget all their problems and enjoy every bit of the season.
Navarathri or /Durga Puja is actually a celebration of Womanhood in it's highest form. People across India worship the female energy "Shakthi" to be bestowed with courage, wealth, and knowledge to overcome the challenges they face in life. Proud to be a Woman. And it is that time of the year when people actually realize the worth of a girl child. In the north they perform "Kumari Puja" where young girls who haven't attained puberty are actually considered the embodiments of the goddess and are worshipped. In the South, the little girls are given special treatment in every house they visit and are given lots of goodies by the elders. Beats me as to why in a country where girls who are worshipped during a particular season are considered a curse every other time? Is it because Man wants to meet his selfish ends all the time?? Well that is some serious thought process which could go on and on.
Coming back to celebrating Navarathri, many of us South Indians follow the tradition of decorating dolls in our houses. We call the decoration "Golu." The significance of Golu as I have heard it from my Mom is as follows:It is a time to remember that all forms of life co-exist on earth in harmony and we need to maintain the equilibrium, and also show our gratitude to different people whom we come across in our day to day transactions. We also need to thank God for His creation and for giving us this beautiful life. Here are some more explanations of the significance of Golu:
a. The dolls depict Gods and Goddesses praying for Parvati Devi when she was doing penance for betraying Lord Shiva by attending the Daksha Yagna.
b. The dolls represent the assembly of Durga Devi who killed the demon Mahishasura on Vijayadashami day.
One more signifance is that this festival gives an opportunity for musicians, craftsmen and other artists to express their creativity.Whatever be the reason I have always been convinced with the way Mom explained it to us. Here is a picture of my Golu:
To me this festival has always been a way to express my gratitude for whatever I have received in life. Though I don't really find the time to create a very elaborate display of dolls as many people do, I love to give vent to my creativity in the lmited time and space that I have. I arrange the dolls in a particular symmetry that reminds us that life should be a perfect balance. I really love showing off my display to my friends and relations because I want the happiness and joy to spread around. This is also a time to meet up with people. Today is the third day of Navarathri and I have received lots of guests already. I am looking forward to having a great time in the coming days and enjoying myself.
I have also promised myself that I will blog regularly. Let me see if I can keep up this resolution. :) CIAO friends and wish you all a Very Happy Festive Season.