Nine Days of Joy and Devotion culminate in Durga Pooja
With the rising living costs, other Indian festivals may seem to have lost sheen but nine auspicious days of Navratri have not been affected so. The enthusiasm for the Navratri has grown with each passing year.
On Monday, the ninth auspicious day, the five-day long cultural extravaganza came to an end at Sarvajaneen Durga Samiti Pandal with over 500 students giving dance, arts and solo performances. The secretary of the committee, Debashish Bhattacharya said, “We are happy that our State Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik spared time and participated in Durga Puja. He lauded the efforts and enthusiasm of school children and artists who gave cultural performances. The age-old traditions are kept alive through such events.”
Navratri extends beyond caste, creed, language and religion and has become a cross community festival these days. Dandiya and Garba have also become popular in various places including Haridwar. “We are a group of Gujarati families in Haridwar who celebrate Navratri every year with Garba and Dandiya on nine nights. This year it was our 15th celebration. The tradition of ‘chhidra ghat sthapna’ continues and all young men and women dance around this earthen pot offered to the goddess,” said Kirtan Desai.
“Navratri are ever jubilant and most cherished occasions when we buy new clothes and do shopping for the year,” said Shivam Khurana of Gobindpuri. “Each day, we wear new clothes as a mark of devotion to the goddess. New clothes reflect the joyousness of the occasion. Children in the families wait for whole year for Navratri and the spirit of gaiety. The female members of the family tend to spend lot of time in the kitchen for the preparation of festival’s special cuisine and on Vijaydashmi day, delicacies especially Jalebis are shared,” he added.
The joy of feasting after fasting is ever new, shared another resident, Namrata Mishra. From health point of view, when the seasonal changes occur, one must reduce one’s cereal diet. People observe fasting for nine days, restricting diet only to fruits and milk and abstain from consuming non-vegetarian food, alcohol and even onions.
After cleansing of body by fasting, comes feasting which gives the real joy. Body is toned up to receive different delicacies which are prepared on the ninth day and given as offering to little girls considered symbols of Durga.
Tuesday, 08 October 2019 | PNS | Haridwar
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