Here we are in the September of year 2017, few weeks away to enter brand new Year. Autumn is joyous period of the year, full of festivals around. This is the gala time of the year and everyone waits for it. Festivals are lined up in this period and I absolutely love it .We are busy in preparations and celebrations of festivals one after other. I couldn’t even realise how the complete month passed. Just now Navaratri is over and after that mid-autumn lantern festival and in another few days Diwali will knock on the door.My kids love mid autumn lantern festival and every year we celebrate it with their friends.Cute little lanterns everye where are the attraction of lantern festival.
We celebrated Navaratri and Vijayadashami festivals with friends and family. Vijayadashami means “Win over evil” and It’s one of the main festivals celebrated across India. Navaratri is spread across 9 days and every day has its own significance. Goddess Durga is worshiped during Navaratri and it’s been said that Navaratri brings prosperity in life. This time Navaratri it was full to fun for us. We attended Kanya Pooja and hataga at friend’s house (On Ashtami and Navami respectively). Then it was electrifying dandiya nights before final day – Vijayadashami. Sharing few of the glimpses of this year’s Navaratri and vijayadashmi festival celebrations.
Kanya Pooja (Kanjak) :
Kanya Pooja falls on Ashtami of Navaratri and little girls are worshiped on this day. Girls are said to be form of maa durga. This year I attended 3 kanya Pooja at friend’s place. Every year I get invitation from many people for kanya Pooja as I have two little daughters. Both my kids love this occasion of kanya Pooja as they get feast and gifts. This year they are flying high after getting so many interesting gifts from their beloved aunties.
Hataga is specially celebrated for young girls in the house. It’s mainly observed in some parts of Maharashtra. Elephant’s picture is drawn and it’s worshiped considering it as a god. (Elephants are said to be prosperity signs) Young girls gather together to sing and dance around elephant’s picture. There are special songs to be sung for hataga. We got an invite for hataga celebration at friend’s house. Little girls gather together to sing and dance songs. After singing and dancing all the girls are treated with secret feast. They have to guess the food items in feast. My girls enjoyed this complete event of singing and dancing. They got to know about this beautiful tradition.
Dandiya nights :
This year we attended dandiya nights in our neighbourhood twice. Dandiya is the main attraction of Navaratri and it’s dance performed on every night of Navaratri. It needs traditional attire and wooden sticks as a prop. I always wanted to learn dandiya dance ( & Garaba) , but somehow couldn’t get chance to do it.This year as kids have grown up we went to nearby dandiya night and it was enthralling experience to dance with so many people.Everyone was wearing traditional attire and excited to play dandiya. Sia taught me how to play dandiya with wooden sticks.She is fast learner and picked dance steps from her friends, who were playing dandiya. For mommy the dance was nice workout as I generally don’t dance. And that’s why i have decided to play dandiya every year. Kids enjoyed running, jumping and playing with sticks and their friends.
Vijayadashami /dasara / dushehara:
This year complete Navaratri was happening for us. The last day of Navaratri is Vijayadashami( it is one of the side tin Muhurth and auspicious to start or buy wealth )which was on last Saturday. People wear new clothes and ornaments to welcome goddess. Houses, shops, offices are cleaned and decorated with flower garlands. For preparations – We cleaned the house thoroughly on Friday (as festival day is generally busy day) . It’s been said that god visits us on auspicious days and that’s why we should keep our house clean to welcome her.
I involve my children in celebrations as I want them to learn about our culture. Little Sara and Sia woke up early Saturday (generally they sleep till late in the morning as it’s their holiday). And daddy dearest helped them to get ready in traditional attire. We worship god, goddess Lakshmi , house, vehicles on the Vijayadashami. We decorated our house and main door with flower garlands and mango leaves. I assigned decoration job to Sia and she fulfilled her responsibility. She loves decoration part the most and always puts her best in it. We worship all the vehicles and weapons used to earn livings. And this year my little girls have added cycles in the list .Daddy helped me to clean and decorate cycles. Mommy dearest then handled cooking department to make offerings for the god. After completing all rituals we did Arti in the afternoon. It was divine feeling. Apate leaves are distributed amongst relatives and loved ones as a token of love on Vijayadashmi . But we couldn’t get them in the market this year. It was about the wonderful time spent during this festive season.
Wish you all happy and prosperous festive season. And looking forward for the upcoming Diwali celebrations. Stay tuned to his space for wonderful Diwali snacks recipes.