Sunday, 26 September 2010

Getting ready for Navaratri

It is time for Navaratri celebrations.In the coming days Iam planning to put up some kathas of devi and the poojas to be performed during navaratri.
Getting Ready
Get the house cleaned and ready. You are inviting Goddess into the home. Usually this is done on the Amavasi day, a day before the beginning of Navratri.
Mango leaf festoons are installed on doors, windows and in puja room. Fresh Kolams are drawn.
If you are keeping Kolu, get all the Kolu dolls ready. Repair broken pieces and use natural colors to paint them.
Decide upon the Bommai Kolu Theme.
Plan early about the pooja prasadam (neivedya) and also about the gifts that you plan to give to women guests.
Requirements for Navratri Puja
If you are keeping Kolu dolls, purchase new dolls at least a couple of new ones. The most important doll needed is the Marapachi dolls (Male and Female pair of dolls).
A pot for Kalasha or Kumbha (brass pot)
Face of Goddess to be stuck on Kalasha. Some people do not opt for this.
Ingredients of the Prasadam to be prepared (this depends on what neivediya you are preparing)
Betel leaves
Betel nuts
Usual fruits
Usual pooja items like lamp, incense, agarbathis etc.
Lotus flower for Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi. Jasmine for Durga. Avoid wild the daily poojas I have mentioned the different types of flowers in my earlier post . If you are giving gifts to women invited for Navratri Pooja, then the bag should contain betel leaves, betel nuts, a pair of round turmeric roots, a coconut, fruits, sweets, flowers, a small gift. You can also include cosmetics like kumkum, bangles, comb etc.
A day before Navratri Puja
Navaratri Puja begins on the Bhadrapada Amavasi day or Puratasi Amavasai day, a day before Navratri begins.
In the evening, Kalasha or Purna Kumbha is prepared. This is an invitation to Goddess to enter your home.
Purna Kumba or Kalash is kept on a kolam in such a place that there is space behind to keep the Bommai Kolu. You can attach a face of Goddess to the Purna Kumbha and decorate the Kumbha with jewelry, turmeric, sandal paste, flowers etc.
Those who do not keep Kolu, keep the Kalash in the Pooja room.
Betel leaves, Betel nuts, a coconut is placed in front of the Kalasha. Cooked rice or boiled and sweetened milk is kept as prasadam or neivedya in front of the Kalasha.
This Kalasha is to be kept for next nine days – it symbolizes Goddess.
A lamp is lit every evening and morning for nine days.
Normal puja is performed.
Gollu Ideas:
If you are planning to create a unique Navarathri Bommai Golu:
First decide on a theme or select a story from mythology.
Draw a sketch of the Golu theme in paper or create one in Computer.
Mark all the dolls, back grounds and props needed.
It would be wise to hunt for dolls after deciding on a theme or story.
While selecting a theme make sure that it does not exceed the budget.
Also make sure that the dolls are available in the market or you can create it in a short period.
Depending upon your theme, you will also need backgrounds and other props like forest, trees, ashrams, animals etc.
Apart from the mythological subjects, you can opt for festival themes, karagatam, various dance performances, concert, market, village life etc.
You can also use modern toys to create themes like olympics, cricket, IT related themes, Harry Potter or any other famous stories like Cinderella. Zoo, town, park are some of the usual themes with readily available props in market.
Look around in your home and neighborhood, you will find several props and ideas. Props like forest, trees, ponds, paddy field etc can be created easily at home.
For paddy field, take a flat basin fill it with some mud and sow wheat. Wheat grows quickly. While placing the tray in Golu hide the tray cleverly, so that only the green part is seen. Ponds too can be created in similar fashion. Trees can be done on cardboards and thermocole.
If you are interested in vegetable carving, depending upon your theme you can make props using melon, carrot and other such vegetables.
Let us begin our preparation for the event .