The word Navarathri means nine nights. Navarathri is celebrated five times during the year- Vasantha navarathri, Ashad navarathri, Sharadh navarathri, Paush navarathri and Magha navarathri. Sharadh navarathri is the most important navarathri and is called as the Maha navarathri. It is celebrated for 9 nights and 10 days during the tamil month Purattasi. During these nine nights and ten days prayers are offered to the three main Goddess- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy. The first three days is for Goddess of power – Durga, the second three days for Goddess of wealth- Lakshmi and the last three days for Goddess of knowledge – Saraswathy. The main aspect of Navarathri is kolu where the dolls are arranged in a series of steps. The dolls are arranged on Ammavasya- no moon day and the pooja starts from the very next day and the final day is celebrated as Vijayadasami.
Once there lived a demon Mahishasuran. He performed tough penance and obtained the boon that he can be killed only by a virgin. After having the boon he conquered all the three worlds. He also started to harass the Devas and humans. So everyone went to the God to save them from the demon. In order to eradicate him and to save the Devas and Humans, the Divine mother was born. She did penance for nine days and nine nights and obtained power from mum moorthigal – Brahma, Vishnu and Shivan. On the tenth day she was empowered as Devi Durga and destroyed the Demon. So the day is celebrated as Vijayadasami. The nine nights prior to Vijayadasami is called as Navarathri.
Navarathri celebration in my house starts with my Dad buying dolls every year. Every year we will buy something new in my home. A week before Navarathri, we will start making arrangements to set up the dolls in order. The first and foremost thing is to set the steps on which the dolls are to be placed. Then we will decorate the room with paper flowers and hanging festoons. Its always fun to unwrap the boxes and to take the dolls out. Each and everyone of us in my family will join together in doing all these arrangements. On the day of Ammavasai, my mom will draw a small rangoli under the steps and then the most important doll the marappachi bommai (Doll made out of wood) is placed. It is for this reason the doll is given to the daughter when she gets married and goes to her husband’s house. Followed by this other dolls are arranged.
First step – One sense creatures like plants, climbers, etc.,
Second step – Two sense creatures like snail, conch.
Third step – Three sense creatures like ant, silverfish.
Fourth step – Four sense creatures like Crab, Beetle.
Fifth Step – Five sense animals and birds.
Sixth step – Six sense humans.
Seventh step – Rishis, Sidhdhars
Eighth step – Ashtadhik Balargal, Navagraha Athibathigal.
Ninth step – Brahma, Vishnu, Sivan.
The message of this is we humans should slowly attain the stage of Divine by being and doing good things.
Kuththu Vilakku decorated as Goddess..
During all the nine days of Navarathri, in the morning, pooja is performed by chanting various slokhas and singing songs. Also Sundal or payasam is made and offered to God. Later this is given to the friends and relatives who will come for vethalai paaku. In the same way we will go to many houses to see the kolu and to get the vethalai paaku. In recent days, along with the vethalai paaku some gift is also given. Finally at the end of the day Haarathi is done with turmeric powder and kumkum. On the ninth day, the books and musical instruments are arranged in front of the kolu. Pooja is performed and the food includes vadai and payasam. On the next day to glorify the victory of Durga Devi, Vijayadasami is celebrated. On that day too pooja is performed and after deeparathanai, The elders will give the books to all the members in the family. Thus the Navarathri is celebrated in my family.
This year, it is the first navarathri for me after my wedding. My husband and I bought dolls from many places. It was a visual treat to see many people and to see the dolls being sold in the shops. While my dad guided us in getting the dolls and giving ideas to set the steps, my Krish encouraged and helped me in arranging things. I should also thank my mom for teaching me and my brother many slokhas and songs. It helped me to chant one or the other each day. Also I thank my thatha for telling many stories whenever the power goes off and my Paati for giving me the confidence to do each and every thing boldly.
Navarathri Day 1 (21.09.17)
Devi : Maheswari
Neivedhyam :Ven pongal
Thithi : Pradhamai
Kolam :Draw rangoli by using dry rice flour
Raagam : Thodi Raagam
Slokam : Om swethavarnaayai vidhmahe
soola hasthaayai dheemahi
thanno Maaheshwari Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 2(22.09.17)
Kolam:maavinal kolam . (Draw rangoli by using wet flour.)
Slokam: Om Siki vaahanaaya vidhmahe
Sakthi Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno kowmaari Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 3(23.09.17)
Kolam:malar kolam poda vendum . (Draw rangoli by using flowers-pookolam.)
Slokam: Om Magishathvajaaya vidhmahe
Thanda Hasthaaya Dheemahi
Thanno Vaaraahi Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day (24.09.17)
Kolam:Atchadhai kondu padikattu pola kolamida vendum (Draw rangoli in shape of steps by using atchatai (mix of rice,turmeric,ghee.))
Slokam: Om Padma Vaasinyai cha Vidhmahe
Padmalochanee sa Dheemahi
Thanno Lakshmi prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 5(25.09.17)
Flower: Paarijaatham & Mullai
Neivedhyam: Curd Rice
Kolam: kadalai maavaal paravai kolam poda vendum (Draw a bird like rangoli by using Bengal gram flour.)
Raagam:panchamaavaranai keerthanai paada vendum.bandhuvaraali
Slokam: Om Syaamavarnaayai Vidhmahe
Chakra Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Vaishnavi Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 6(26.09.17)
Devi : Indraani
Kolam:kadalai maavinaal Devi naamathai kolamida vendum (Write the name of the goddess using Bengal gram flour.)
Slokam: Om Kajathvajaayai vidhmahe
Vajra Hasthaaya Dheemahi
Thanno Iyndree Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 7(27.09.17)
Flower:Malligai & mullai
Kolam:Narumana malargalaal kolamida vendum (Draw rangoli by using fragrant flowers-pookolam.)
Slokam: Om Vaakdevyai vidhmahe
Vrinji pathnyai sa Dheemahi
Thanno Vaani Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 8(28.09.17)
Neivedhyam: Paayasa annam
Kolam:padma kolam (Draw traditional lotus shaped rangoli)
Slokam: Om Magisha mardhinyai vidhmahe
Durga devyai Dheemahi
Thanno Devi Prachodayaath
Navarathri Day 9(29.09.17)
Kolam:Vaasanai podigalal aayudham pola kola mida vendum (Draw weapon shaped rangoli by using fragrant powder.)
Slokam: Om Krishna varnaayai vidhmahe
Soola Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Saamundaa Prachodayaath
Neivedhyam: sakkarai pongal,sweets
Slokam: Om Vijayaa devyai vidhmahe
Mahaa Nithyaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Devi Prachoday