Navratras are just around the corner and Delhi is all geared up to celebrate this much awaited festival with great grandeur and style. Delhi is at its shimmery best to fight the battle of good over evil and celebrate the nine avatars of Goddess Durga.
Navratras begin with “Kalasha sthapana”. It means installing a pot with holy water. The pot containing holy water is considered as the symbol of Goddess Durga. It is placed in the puja room and worshipped for nine days. On this day, barley seeds are sown as “khetri”. By the end of the navratras, these seeds grow into 3-5 inches long shoots. These are taken out and distributed as a form of blessing.
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A very important aspect of Navratri celebrations is the fasting. Many people observe fast for the whole navratris but there are many who cannot fast for so many days. They observe fast as a couple. On the last day of the navratras, any two members of the house observe fast for one day.
Kirtans are organised on a daily basis in temples on a large scale. Ladies form groups or kirtan mandalis and perform kirtan and puja in their houses.
The evenings witness Ramleela. Sharad Navratras are synonymous with Ramleela which is organised at a very large scale in various parts of Delhi. Ramleela, is the theatrical performance of the story of Ramayana. The city’s highlights at this time are the Ramleela performance and the Diwali Melas organised at various parts of Delhi.
Alongwith, the Diwali melas and Ramleela which have always been very popular, another major event which has started gaining popularity is the Dandiya Nights.
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The love for shimmer, music and dance has led to Dandiya nights getting popular in Delhi. The nine days of Navratris give Delhiites a reason to deck up in their most shimmering outfits and hit the dance floors with dandiyas in their hands.
The last day of the navratri is celebrated as “Kanjak” or “kanya pujan”. Kanjak is celebrated in temples as well as in houses. Young girls are invited in the houses, their feet are washed. A holy thread called “mouli” is tied on their wrists. Tilak is applied on their forehead. They are given puri halwa as a form of blessing.
Navratras are considered as highly auspicious days. It is believed that if you have to start anything new, may be a new business venture or buy a new vehicle, property or jewellery, then navratras are the best days to start. Navratras also mark the beginning of the wedding season in Delhi. All the wedding functions start with “Mata ki Chowki”, which is conducted during the navratras.
The markets are flooded with red chunaris, food items which are eaten during the navratris, things related to navaratri puja. Another thing, which is very famous is the “navratri special thalis” served in restaurants. The “navratri thalis” have become so famous that even those who are not fasting during these days opt for them during the Navratras.
Delhi looks at its best and sets the mood for the festive season beginning with navratras. All the new ventures which were put on hold and were waiting for the auspicious days, the weddings, functions, not to forget the shopping spree will all begin during the navratras. Delhi is going to be fully decked up and Delhiites will be seen glittering and sparkling.
(Pic Courtesy: Indian Express)