Whats the Doll festival all about?
The Doll festival is one of the grandest Indian festivals that you can ever imagine. It typically lasts for nine days and nine nights and hence the name 'Navarathri' ( meaning nine nights) in Tamil. It is also celebrated with great fervor in other parts of India and is referred to by different names like Dussehra in Karanataka and Durga Puja in the Eastern parts of India, mainly Kolkata.
Time for celebration
Navarathri is a great time to celebrate. People take great pleasure in arranging their houses with doll stands and thinking of various themes to promote during the festival. There are so many social organizations too that organize various kinds of functions and social events during this part of the year. Lots of gifts get exchanged, typically home-made gifts like incense sticks, dresses, home-made jewellery and the like.
Clearly, Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals of Kolkata. All kinds of activities get stalled 10 days in advance and the focus is clearly on just one thing - decorating the house. The entire place looks bright and colorful with all sorts of decorations. People also dress up for the occasion. Besides all this, one will also get the opportunity to feast on all kinds of sweets and home-made delicacies. West Bengal, as we all know is renowned for its world-famous Rasgoolas and who would want to give it a miss. Grand processions and road shows are also organized and Goddess Durga is the cynosure of all eyes.
The Scene in Karnataka
If Kolkata was colorful, the scene is no different in Karnataka. People take great pleasure in decorating their houses. It isn't uncommon to see offices and commercial establishments being decorated too. Various themes like floral arrangements, extinct animals, the music of India are elaborated. One will also be able to see dolls of all shapes and sizes. In addition to all this, there is a home-made delicacy that is given out to all visitors. Typically, one of the nine cereals is used everyday, thereby ensuring that there are no repeats in the menu.
Three days are allotted to each of the three deities that are significant during this festival - Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. All said and done, socializing is the order of the day and it is no wonder that women look forward to this festival with great zeal with every passing year.
How creative can you get?
More than anything else, Navarathri is an occasion to showcase your talents to the external world. How creative can you get? This is a question that will get answered when one starts visiting different houses during this festival. Many competitions are held too to find out which the best doll arrangement is. Shopkeepers who are in the business of selling dolls make a fortune too, during this time of the year.
This year, a Guinness record is also being attempted by some people who plan to have a whopping 100,000 dolls on display. Now, isn't that what you would call amazing?