Easy DIY Festive Decor for Navratri That You Must Try!4 minute
Navratri or as Bengalis would say Durga Puja, is a festival to worship the symbol of power- Goddess Durga. Like most festivals in India, Navratri is one to be celebrated with great pomp, fervour and preparation. But one of the best aspects of Navratri, apart from the good old Garba and Dandiya, is through the nine days you can dedicate a single colour to each day. While it can prove cumbersome, but hey the end result is always worth it, right?
While you can adopt a 9-day multicolour theme to decorate the pandals and houses if you are up for a challenge try a 1 day- 1 colour theme. It will be more challenging in a fun way and refreshing!
What to use for the décor?
Be it Diwali or Navratri, lights are the major game-changer in the decor. Fairy lights, lanterns, diyas, lamps, you name it! Dig out every ornament of light you can and dazzle up the house. Stash the fairy lights in a beautiful glass jar if you have no windows left and watch it work magic! Put diyas on the steps and window sills! Hang the lanterns and lamps over entrances or a dramatic eye-catchy place you see! Disco lights can be a welcome addition to a fun and chic atmosphere!
Bengalis would surely know about the beautiful alpanas made via rice paste. A parallel to rangolis yet it holds a special significance when it comes to festivals and pujas.
If you want to make the alpana designs from scratch, all you have to do is soak rice in water overnight. Preferably of low quality, the rice should be the kind that breaks easily so that it softens on soaking. The grains of basmati rice usually won't break despite soaking. To make a paste out of the soaked rice, you can either use a mixer grinder or do it manually. The soaked rice goes with more water, usually only a quarter of the rice because in case you add too much water the design will smudge or become too thick to handle.
And in case you wish to deviate from the traditional chalky white alpanas, try adding spices like turmeric and red chilli to spice things up!
Paper Mache & Paper Cut Designs
On a budget? But still up for the challenge? Get a bunch of craft papers of the shade and cut up different patterns!
While paper mache creation and crafting can be a bit time consuming, paper cutting is not so much. All you need is some tracing paper, a cutting mat, a metal ruler, pencil, scalpel and blades, backing material and patience!
Now go cut up simple designs in a variety of colours and collage them up bright and pretty!
An essential and more aromatic way to liven up the house! While each Goddess has a specific flower for her to be offered(check out the Navratri guide for those flowers), adorn your house with these flowers to match the theme:
- Yellow- Allamanda
- Green- Hari Champa
- Gray-Sage (Since grey is a hard colour to find flowers in, use these aromatic herbs)
- Orange- Orange Cosmos
- White- Mogra
- Red- Rose
- Royal Blue- Krishna Kamal
- Pink- Lotus
- Purple- Aster
Navratri is all about Dandiya and Garba. So why not decorate the walls with dandiyas? Imagine those designer sticks stuck to a lamp. Can you imagine the vibrant shadow play the whole room would illuminate in? Use ribbons, laces, buttons, paints to decorate dandiyas and in turn these Dandiyas to embellish the house!
Kanya Puja takes place on the eighth or ninth day. In this ritual, nine young girls are dressed as the nine avatars of the goddess and worshipped with foot washing, given offerings such as food and clothing. But with that, you can make jewellery for girls with wires and broken pieces to give them as gifts since giving the girls something is part of the ritual.
The Navratri Guide
DAY 1: October 7
Goddess: Maa Shailputri
Tithi & Events- Pratipada, Ghatasthapana and Shailputri Puja Colour: Yellow
Flowers: Hibiscus Flower
DAY 2: October 8
Goddess: Maa Brahmacharini
Tithi & Events- Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja
DAY 3: October 9
Goddess: Maa Chandraghanta
Tithi & Events- Tritiya and Chaturthi, Chandraghanta Puja and Kushmanda Puja Colour: Grey
Flowers: Lotus Flower
DAY 4: October 10
Goddess: Maa Skandmata
Tithi & Events- Panchami, Skandamata Puja
Flowers: Yellow Roses
DAY 5: October 11
Goddess: Maa Katyayani
Tithi & Events- Sashti, Katyayani Puja Colour: White
Flowers: Marigold flower
DAY 6: October 12
Goddess: Maa Kalratri
Tithi & Events- Saptami, Kalratri Puja Colour: Red
Flowers: Kamal Krishna
DAY 7: October 13
Goddess: Maa Maha Gauri
Tithi & Events- Ashtami, Maha Gauri Puja Colour: Royal Blue
DAY 8: October 14
Goddess: Maa Siddhidatri
Tithi & Events- Navami, Siddhidhatri Puja
Flowers: Champa flowers
DAY 9: October 15
Tithi & Events- Dashami, Navratri Parana/Durga Visarjan
Before you go, have a glance at the origins of Navratri for who knows what inspiration can strike one! It is said that Lord Shiva granted permission to his wife Goddess Durga to visit her mother for nine days. It is believed that during this period Goddess Durga fought with the demon Mahishasur (who represents egoism) and the final day when the demon was beheaded by her, is called Vijay Dashmi (Dussehra). Hence Goddess Durga aka Kali is represented as a symbol of shakti – the ultimate strength. It is also said that Maa Durga has eternal divine power, which can never be created nor destroyed.
Though Navratri falls four times a year, the one we celebrate during September October called Sharad Navratri is considered the most auspicious one and is widely celebrated across the country. The other three fall during the months of Chaitra, Magha and Ashad.
Whip out all the cool cushion covers and curtains stuffed for ‘the special times of the years’- the festive seasons! Deck up those plain boring walls with intricate mythological paintings that tell a story. If your floor is dull and pep it up with a traditional carpet or rugs and instantly transform your living room floor. Play with the colours, the styles, the blends, sizes. Let your imagination run wild!