Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Navaratri celebrations !

This week is the Navaratri week for Indians. 
 In India, South Indians celebrate Navaratri with a lot of traditions. My amma used to prepare various sundal or kesari or sarkarai pongal on those nine days (in the evenings) and offer to God and would invite some friends / family and we all used to enjoy those snacks in the evening. We had a Golu only one time and somehow couldn't continue. I really really love kolu very much and I used to go to many of my friends' houses or to temples to see kolu , those kolams and to hear the songs along with wearing beautiful dresses. Golu is a kind of display of traditional dolls and statues (handed over through generations), depicting various puranas (ancient Hindu mythology).  It is one of the most colorful and cheerful festivals of India.   
In my father's native place area, this navaratri is celebrated every year with a lot of processions, pooja,  dinners and folk songs and folk dances along with watching some popular movies along with the whole village. In my father's ancestors house, there is a separate family temple. There the celebrations are more homely. Every family in the family tree has to contribute on one day to prepare the festive foods and all the temple traditions. All girl children below 12 years old would be invited from the family and would be considered as Devi and offered sweets , flowers and fruits with some more happy traditions. This festival revolves around women and celebrates the importance of women. And on the 10 th day the 'Devi' wins over all the negativities and blesses and fills the whole world with positive energy (Shakthi), it is called Dassara festival. Most festivals of India would emphasize on appreciating the women and the need to respect them.  So I too like this festival very much. 

This Tuesday, My friend Raji invited me to her home for  Navaratri pooja celebration.  I had a beautiful experience of participating in this amazing festival along with the best lunch prepared by her. She had prepared a fantastic lunch and had invited two friends. She had made semiya payasam, urid dal vadai, Ghee, rice, dal, Mor kulambu (buttermilk curry), rasam, green banana eggplant tamarind curry, a spicy potato fry, cucumber raitha, mango sweet pachadi, mango spicy pachadi, yogurt ... and everything was served on a traditional banana leaf (wow, wow) ! No words to explain her dedication in making that pooja food, while she was fasting and doing all chores herself on that day.  To my surprise every dish was made without onion garlic and still it tasted more yummy in my view !
We all enjoyed the food and the get together very much.
And also as a take home gift she gave us a thamboolam (betal leaf, betal nuts, banana and flower) and a beautiful glass container gift as a part of this tradition along with some payasam and vadai for our houses. 
Navaratri lunch prepared by my friend Raji.


Thanks to her and her mom's recipes and guidance we could enjoy a typical Kerala Brahmin festive food on a Navaratri pooja day ! 
We really had a wonderful girls time together and enjoyed the day!

Happy Navaratri to you all ! May God bless everyone !

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