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How Is Navratri Indian Festival Celebrated, Specifically in Chennai?

Updated: Mar 21, 2022


India is globally addressed as the land of culture, heritage and spirituality. Supporting the definition is the festive season of India, the Navarathri or Dussehra.

Every year in the autumn, celebrated for 9 days, Navarathri is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. What? Yes, you are reading it right, the same festival is different across states. India is diverse. 

In the eastern and northeastern states of India, it is the Durga Puja wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon Mahishasur to help restore Dharma. 

In the northern and western states, the festival is popularly known as “Raam Lila” and Dussehra celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana. 

In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or Saraswati is celebrated. 

In all cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legends such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya. 

The 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadasami, the day of victory, remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to restore and protect dharma. 

In northern and western states, it is called Dussehra, marking the victory of Rama over Ravana. 

How Is Navratri Festival Celebrated In South India? 

Festival is directly proportional to the celebration. The celebration starts with the Display of Dolls called ‘Golu’. 

Golu is a festive display of dolls and small idols of Gods, Goddesses, mostly thematic narrating the lives of Legends, lifestyle, wedding, miniature utensils, toys etc. Yes, similar to what a little kid plays with. The Golu dolls are generally made of clay or wooden materials and painted brightly. The tiers (Golu padi) are generally of odd numbers 

During this time families, friends visit each other, review the goals display, exchange gifts, festive foods, play or sing devotional songs. 

Celebration unites hearts, brings people closer. Apart from being a religious festival and worshipping Goddesses, Navarathri is a festival of celebrating people. However it is not restricted to people, the things, the machines, the profession, the instruments that help them in their daily life, is embraced during the ninth day which is celebrated as the Ayudha Puja. 

A popular Tamil is saying “Seiyum Thozhile Deivam” – literally meaning ‘Worship the Work’. You will see everyone worshipping all the tools used in Business and Work from Machinery and Computers to even a calculator. Even Students keep Books and School Bags in the Pooja for doing better in studies.

The 10th day is celebrated as Vijayadasami, the day of victory, remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to restore and protect dharma. 

How Is Navratri Festival Celebrated In Mylapore, Chennai in India?

The celebration of the nine days festival, Navarathri is quite special in Chennai, obviously being the

the cultural capital of India. 

Mylapore serves as the cultural hub of the Detroit of Asia with 2000 years old cultural and religious history. 

Regardless of the situation, Navarathri has caught the attention of the residents of Chennai, more specifically Mylapore and has brought them to the streets to embrace their thousand years old culture. Starting from the garland vendors to the seasonal roadside Golu doll shops, the 2020 Navarathri is no lesser than any other year, the Mada streets are on roll. 

Despite the buzzing crowd, the Mylapore cops have maintained the traffic level and ensured social distancing by regulating the crowd and not allowing it to be stagnant at a particular place. 


Kulasekarapattinam Navratri

Kulasekarapattinam is a small seaside village near Thiruchendur Town in Tamil Nadu, South India. For several years, the villagers have been celebrating Navratri or Dussehra differently. People dress up as God and Goddess according to the offering commitment they would have made for the betterment of their lives. Many of them would have started doing this during their childhood days. They make up and dress up the same every year. They come to the village around the Dussehra time from far off places like the USA, Europe, the Middle East, etc. only to offer their prayer by dressing up. In some, Mother would have committed to Deity that his son or daughter will dress up in a particular way. The children honour them. That integrity is touching. They also dress up like Police and so on.

Street POV, Navrathri Doll Shops

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The blog is Written By: RJ Vaithee


About KeyTerns: KeyTerns is an Experiential, Comfort and Budget travel designer and an organiser in Nature – Adventure, Heritage – Culture and Spiritual – Wellness themes.


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