Navaratri – 9 nights dedicated to the Goddess
Millions of Hindus consider Navaratri the year’s central festival, the one they most deeply connect to. These nine days dedicated to Shakti, the Goddess, in her incarnations as Durga, Lakshmi and Saravati, provide an opportunity to seek blessings and commune with their own divinity. It is a time for sacred gatherings, austerities, selfless acts and intimate prayers. It also includes joyous worship, festivities, plays, feasting and dance—all venerating God as the loving Mother Spirit that gives life to everything.
What do Hindus do for Navaratri?
Navaratri starts on the new moon of September/October. On the first day, it is customary to plant seeds in a clay pot which will sprout over the next nine days. In some communities, women prepare a specially decorated kalasha, a vessel symbolizing the fertile womb, representing the Goddess.
Especially in cities in Tamil Nadu, families create elaborate shelf displays, called kolu, of handmade clay dolls. Adding new dolls each year and handing the collection down to the next generation results in some grand displays.
Navaratri Observances and Celebrations
- Read about Navarati as well as cook a wonderful chickpea sundal (a downloaded 1 page pdf that can also be used as a media release.)
- An overview of Navaratri
- Navaratri in Tiruvannamali, Sth India
- Celebrating Navaratri at Home
- Navaratri around India
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Navratri
- The nine days of Navratri
Navratri on YouTube
What foods are offered?
Sundal plays an important role in Navaratri with a different sundal being made each day. Sundal is a salad made with cooked lentils or beans tempered with mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies. Traditionally it was made as prasadam, an offering to the Gods, but these days it is available at any time of the day in the home or on the street.
Sundal is normally made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mung dal, channa dal, peas, rajma (kidney beans), green gram dal, or peanuts (groundnuts). For festival dishes, the Sundal generally won’t contain onions.
Food for Navrathri and Dassera from around the Web
- 13 Sundals
- Sweet Pongal
- Another Sweet Pongal
- Ven Pongal
- Mungbean Sprouts Usli
- Poriyals and Thorans
- Puttu Recipes
- Kosambari / Kosumalli Recipes
- Payasam Recipes and Kheer Recipes
- Halwa Recipes
** Cooking for All Seasons has put together food for each day of the festival:
- Navaratri Special Day 1 ~ Brown Karamani Sundal, Ven Pongal, Puli Aval, Khus Khus Payasam
- Navaratri Special Day 2 ~ Konda Kadalai Sundal, Puliyodarai, Nellikai Sadam, Rajma Sundal
- Navaratri Special Day 3 ~ Mochai Sundal, Sakkari Pongal, Easy Sambar Sadam, Bansi Rava Sakkarai Pongal
- Navaratri Special Day 4 ~ Pattani Sundal, Kadambam Rice, Sesame Rice, Okra Raitha, Pattani Sundal, Apple Masoor Dal Payasam
- Navratri Special Day 5 ~ Kadambam Sundal, Thayir Sadam, Samba Godumai Kesari, Navadhanya Sundal
- Navaratri Special Day 6 ~ Verkadalai Sundal, Elumichai Sadam, Rava Pongal, Broken Wheat Payasam
- Navaratri Special Day 7 ~ Sunnundalu, Thengai Sadam, Paruppu Podi Sadam, Thengai Sadam, Khus Khus Kheer
- Navaratri Special Day 8 ~ Channa Dal Sundal, Pal Sadam (Kheer), Arisi Paruppu Sadam | How to make Dhal Rice Tamil Style, Kesari Bath, Konda Kadali Sundal, Masala Vadai
- Navaratri Special Day 9 ~ Moong Dal Sundal, Kalkandu Sadam, Akkaravadisal
** Sailu has a list of Navratri foods also.