Be it that beatific swish of a bright ghagra or the lit diyas that illuminate the altar of the goddess – there’s no greater pleasure than the small festive joys that Navratri brings to us. This is a time when we not only celebrate our immense love and faith in Maa Durga but also strive to bring peace and happiness in our homes. So, read ahead as we give you the ultimate guide filled with a plethora of Navratri Celebration ideas to host this magical festival in the comfort of your home.
1. Set a Puja Corner for the Goddess
Add a traditional touch to your worship area by placing a wooden or brass chowki (a short decorative bench) Here, the idol of goddess can sit in all its majesty. Then, place the puja essentials and offerings like diyas, fruits, fresh flowers, the ‘Kalash’ and a pot with sown barley around the chowki.
It is a custom to worship the growing barley on all days of the festival. Besides barley, people also opt to grow other cereal grains such as wheat, chickpea, rice, sesame, and more. Together, these nine grains (nava dhanya) are said to symbolise each planet in the solar system and believed to bring peace into your humble abode.
Another important ritual is to place a Garba – an earthen pot with small holes that bring out the light rays of the lamp placed inside it. This pot symbolises the nature of evolving life and is decorated with bright colours, lace, and mirrors.
The idea is to not only create a space to revere the goddess where you can chant the mantras but also enjoy a quiet meditation session with your family. Light an incense stick or a simple diya and sit in front of the idol. Align your thoughts towards peace and love, and you are bound to rejuvenate your inner energies.
2. Furnish Your Home with Ethnic Decor Pieces
A successful navratri celebration at home calls for sprucing up your living spaces and making them welcoming for the goddess to bless you. Take this a step further by amping up your place with ethnic decor pieces and handmade items. From patchwork carpets to Rajasthani puppet dolls and colourful cushions – you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to Navratri home decor.
Place a painted earthen pot or two at the entrance of your home or a vintage mirror in your living room to give a rustic and ethnic vibe to your place. Add some traditional bells, little elephant hangings, colourful tea light candles, and cane baskets filled to the brim with flowers to brighten up your place. You can also place a pair of dandiyas as decor, besides the refreshments on the dining table.
If you are looking for a decorative element to ornament your living room, place a small carved wooden Jharokha on one wall! Once used in old Rajasthani palaces as a window from where women could look at passersby in secrecy, a piece like this is bound to transform your home and wow your guests! In fact, finding one these days is turning out to be hassle-free as these are easily available online.
3. Create Rangolis to Beautify the House
Every year, rangolis are drawn at the home entrance to welcome the deities into your home. But, there’s more to it than that. It is believed that Rangolis not only bring in good luck and prosperity but are also said to trap negative energy in their intricate patterns, thus allowing for only positive energies to enter your abode. Moreover, what can be more perfect than spending a fun time making rangoli designs with your family? These little festive moments make us glad of living together.
Experiment with colours and get creative using materials like rice, flowers, and dry flour in your rangolis. You can make geometric patterns or draw freestyle to fashion proud peacocks, dancing maidens, lotus, and more. Even simple designs like creating a simple Swastik on your puja thali or creating footprint impressions with tools at your home entrance can be quite rewarding!
4. Bring all the Nine Colours of Navratri into Your Home
Each festival day worships the nine different avatars of the Goddess Durga. Hence, coloured clothes are worn to celebrate the divinity of the goddess in all its forms as well as live by her brilliant qualities. Colours like yellow symbolises strength, green stands for growth and life, orange for happiness, white for peace, red for being bold, and so on.
Ensure to bring these colours into your home each day and add a zing to your Navratri celebrations at home. Change a large decor element like curtains, rugs, or sofa cushions in your living room to the hue of the day. You can even hang a solid coloured dupatta or silk saree to serve as a backdrop to the altar each day. Behind the goddess, it will shine and add a rich ambience to your house.
In case, you’re repainting your home this festive season – go for fresh pinks, energetic blues, comfortable greys, or even an ambitious purple. Perhaps, you can choose the divine colour of the goddess that you resonate with the most to furnish your home interiors.
5. Cook Delectable Food Dishes
Navratri is the season of fasting where we eat light meals to cleanse our body and soul. We stock up our kitchens with dairy items, fruits, and different Vrat-friendly flours. Instead of rice and wheat, grains like Rajgira (Amaranth flour), Kuttu Atta (buckwheat flour), and Sabudana are used in the cooking of dishes and sweets. Rather than hemming you in, these flours allow you to cook lip-smacking delicacies for your fasting period.
Here again, all nine days of the festival hold immense significance. Each day, a separate food dish is cooked, accordingly dedicated to each divine form of the goddess. From aloo ka halwa to Sabudana kheer and Rajgire ke ladoo – you can whip up a lot of tasty sweets and meals to offer as bhog to the goddess as well as enjoy them with your family.
6. Create a Space for Dance and Music
Recreate the memories of those starry nights filled with the energetic sound of dandiyas in your home. Clear a small space in a part of your living room where you can dance to Garba music on the radio or even to rhythmic dhol beats with your immediate friends and family. Besides bonding with your relatives, you might just discover a hidden music talent in your family.
Now that we, at Ashwin Sheth Group have given you the perfect guide to celebrating Navratri at home, it is time to bring these delightful ideas to life! This 2020, you can experience a different magic and joy to this festival, to gether with your family in the confines of your home.