Covid-19 hitting this year’s Navratri celebration, people have found different ways to watch a week of fasting and the spread of the deadly virus with all health protocols in mind.
In COVID East, the 10-day celebration includes dances, concerts, plays, fairs, folk songs. People used to worship with the community at the temple and perform at home. But this year, due to social alienation and protecting oneself and family, there is a difference in the general practice of Navratri.
1. Online Bommai Goal is to maintain the Navratri tradition of South India
With the epidemic this year, the South Indian tradition of displaying ‘Bommai Goal’ dolls, bommai jumping and having visitors at home has changed. To keep the tradition alive, people are now turning to online platforms to showcase new additions to their goal doll collection.
2. Making fast-food at home
Some people do not even bring packaged foods or sweets like chawlai laddoo or salted potato chips, which are consumed when people fast. They are making it at home.
Musk, 21, a Tech Mahindra employee, said, “We are making homemade fast-food chawlady laddoo or potato chips, instead of salting the markets for fear of the virus.”
3. Only perfume ‘kirtan’
Festivals are not just about celebrations but also a way of bringing people together. Hosting ‘kirtans’ at home or singing bhajans with lots of people is often how people celebrate festivals. But now to maintain the distance and avoid any social contact, this year people are planning to have a homemade banquet and ‘psalms’ with the family without any invites.
4. Feeding the stray cows to the Kanya Puja
Kanya Pooja is celebrated on the eighth and ninth day of Navratri in North India. Little girls are invited to the house of people who worship and are worshiped as angels. However, to ensure the safety and health of the girls this year, it is not convenient for people to send them to other homes. A good alternative to this year’s celebration is to feed stray cows.
5. Packing food for Kanya Pooja
Another alternative to performing kanya puja is to pack the food in properly packed packets and send it to their homes.
6. Feeding the poor
Since it is not becoming ‘Bhandaras’, feeding the poor at such times is kind and caring for the distressed. Food can be distributed by Kanya Pujan to fill the stomachs of poor girls in the streets.
“Instead of calling the girls home, our family is looking to distribute ‘Prasad’ to the poor girls off the streets and this is the work of ‘Punya’.”
7. Dressing the girls at home
Little girls dress up as angels to attend the Kanya Pooja, but this year they can do so by dressing them up and making zoom calls with relatives and celebrating on virtual platforms.
Housewife Nandini Saha said, “I wear my daughter every year because she loves to wear lehenga choli but I don’t think about sending her to other houses for worship because of the safety of her children. She is 7 years old. I plan to make a zoom call with relatives and friends to celebrate the festival ”.
8. Making small pandals at home
Another thing you can do is create a small pandal in your home for worship using decorative ideas from the internet.
Talking about Pandal, Muskan said, “Every year I go to Durga Puja with my family to CR Park but this year we are not sure about the epidemic and the safety of the family. We are creating our own Pandal at home with background and theme based d ಅಲಂcor. ”
9. Making a womb or dandiya-ras at home
In western India, Navratri is known for dancing the garbha or dandiya-ras, in which men wearing turban and kdiya and women wearing chania-kolis participate in their hands paired with small, ornate bamboo sticks called dandiyas. However, this year it will be difficult to perform the dance in circles and with lots of people. People are trying to find happiness amid the epidemic by hosting these dance shows at home with their closed circles.
The term Navaratri translates as ‘nine nights’. In most parts of India, the various forms of the Goddess Maa Durga are worshiped on these nine nights – Shilaputri, Brahmacharni, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandama, Katayani, Kalratri, Maha Gauri, and Siddhivatri.
The first day begins with the new moon or the new moon signifying the beginning of Navratri worship. The celebration of Navratri concludes with Vijayasamy, popularly known as Dasara.