Navaratri, a nine-night festival dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga, is a time of reflection, prayer, and devotion for Hindus around the world. One of the most significant aspects of Navaratri is the Golu, an arrangement of figurines and dolls displayed on steps or shelves. This tradition is celebrated with great enthusiasm in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. While setting up your Golu and participating in the festivities, it’s essential to follow certain do’s and don’ts to make the most of this spiritually significant period. Let’s explore these guidelines to ensure a harmonious and meaningful Navaratri Golu celebration.
Do’s During Navaratri Golu:
- Daily Cleansing Ritual: Start each day of Navaratri with a refreshing bath, preferably a head bath. This ritual symbolizes purity and prepares you for the day’s devotion.
- Wear Clean Clothes: Dress in clean, traditional attire as a mark of respect to the divine. Traditional clothing also adds to the festive ambiance.
- Vegetarian Diet: Consider adopting a vegetarian diet during Navaratri. If possible, avoid foods containing onion and garlic. This dietary restraint is believed to enhance spiritual clarity and devotion.
- Kolam Tradition: Embrace the tradition of drawing small, intricate kolams (rangoli designs) in front of your Golu. These colorful patterns are not only aesthetically pleasing but also symbolize welcoming energy.
- Offer Flowers: Daily, offer fresh flowers to the deities displayed on your Golu. This gesture demonstrates your devotion and reverence.
- Light Lamps: Illuminate your home by lighting lamps in the morning and evening. The light represents the triumph of good over evil and dispels darkness from our lives.
- Neivedyam (Offerings): Prepare and offer neivedyam (food offerings) in the morning and evening. For the morning, rice varieties are popular, while in the evening, consider keeping sundal varieties or sweets. If time is a constraint, offer fruits, kalkandu (rock candy), jaggery, or raisins.
- Mangala Harathi and Slokhas: Perform Mangala Harathi, a ceremonial offering of light, and recite slokhas (holy verses) daily to invoke blessings and protection.
- Extend Invitations: Invite and give thamboolam (gifts) to married ladies and young girls during the evening, promoting community and sharing during this auspicious time.
- Educational Pursuits: On Vijayadasami day, devote time to study and learning in front of Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom.
Don’ts During Navaratri Golu:
- Avoid Stitching: Refrain from stitching clothes at home during these nine days as it is believed to disrupt the auspicious atmosphere.
- Nail and Hair Care: Do not cut your nails or hair during Navaratri. This practice is observed to maintain spiritual purity.
- House Dusting: While you should regularly sweep your house, avoid dusting it during this period. This is known as “Otrai adikarathu” and is believed to preserve positive energy.
- Non-Vegetarian Food: Steer clear of non-vegetarian food throughout Navaratri to maintain a sattvic (pure) diet.
- Studying on Saraswathi Pooja Day: On Saraswathi Pooja day, avoid studying. Instead, focus on prayers and seeking blessings for knowledge and wisdom.
- Travel Cautiously: If you have set up a Golu at home, try to be present during the pooja times. If you are a working woman, make arrangements to ensure you can participate in the rituals.
- Maintain Harmony: Most importantly, avoid conflicts and disagreements within your household. Strive to maintain a calm and joyful atmosphere, promoting unity and positivity during Navaratri.
By following these do’s and don’ts during Navaratri Golu, you can create a spiritually enriching and harmonious environment in your home. This festive period is not only a celebration of the divine but also an opportunity for personal growth and reflection. Embrace these traditions with an open heart, and may Goddess Durga bless you with prosperity, wisdom, and inner peace during Navaratri.