Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Navratri Festival in Chennai

The festival of Navratri is a widely-enjoyed Indian tradition, celebrated for 9 days. During this time people worship Devi and commemorate the victory of good over evil.

In the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Navratri is celebrated in a unique way. Women adorn their houses with dolls, draw traditional rangolis (patterns on the floor made with powders and flowers), and light lamps. During Navatri (known as Kolu in Tamil Nadu), families proudly display their traditional wooden dolls, eager to show off their display to visitors. They also gather to sing songs and dance. Traditional gifts of coconuts, cloths and sweets are exchanged between families and friends. Favorite foods made on this special occasion include sundal, a special sweet made from lentils and brown sugar.

Near my house is a temple with a celebration hall. While coming home from school last night, I noticed that there was a display of dolls set up on tiered stands. Grabbing my camera, I returned to the hall and was given permission to enter – shoes off, of course. In a raised platform in front of the dolls were some women singing and playing traditional instruments. A crowd of women began to gather. Not wanting to intrude, I took a couple pictures of the display and left. If you look closely at the photo, you will notice a wide variety of dolls and figurines, ranging from brightly colored goddesses, strange creatures, humorous looking men, bobble-heads, villager figurines, and figures created in plastic, wood, etc.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Navaratri Festival at express avenue starts tomo