Navratri, nine nights and ten days of celebrations to extoll the victory of goddess Durga over Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. It is a major festival in India held in honour of the divine feminine. Although it is celebrated with diverse customs and traditions what remains a constant is the cleaning and decorating of the home to prepare for the entry of the goddess.
Whether you are choosing to decorate an apartment or a luxury villa, rangoli will head your list. This traditional art is a “can’t miss” for any celebration and can be made into a fun activity with a little creativity and team spirit. Start by collecting the required materials and patterns. Choose from rice, flour, sand, chalk, fine quartz powder, flowers, leaves and even ready to stick rangolis for the different days of Navratri. Create simple or elaborate patterns from geometrical designs or images of birds, animals or trees. Having a readymade stencil, pen and filler can make the process easier.
Lamps, diyas and candles can make dramatic decorative pieces. Hand paint terracotta diyas in the traditional designs and colours specific to the nine colours of Navratri. If you own a sprawling Kasu villa, purchase some candles of different sizes as well and arrange them around your pool and lawns with accessories like ribbons, dried flowers and colourful beads. Fairy lights in glass jars also look very pretty and can be strategically placed in different rooms.
- Earthen Pots:
Pots are also traditionally used as decoration for Navratri. Invite your friends over for a pot painting party and let your creativity run wild with acrylic paint, mirrors, lace, tassels, flowers and anything that suits your fancy.
Cushions and throw pillows are a favourite element in home interiors. This Navratri, brighten up your sitting area with cushions designed with ethnic work. Grab that sewing kit if you are good at embroidery or stick-on mirrors and ribbons to add to the festive look.
The Garba dance and dandiya sticks have become synonymous with Navratri even though they are traditionally from Gujarat. To make decorative dandiyas get yourself some bamboo sticks and either paints them or cover them with multicolour satin ribbons. Accessorize with bells, tassels, colourful stones, mirrors and beads. Make smaller sticks for dance performances and larger ones that can be used as decorative pieces around your villa or on the lawn.
Paper lanterns are so much fun to make and even more to decorate. Make colourful lanterns and light up your home with them. Make them out of card paper or kite paper and decorate them with intricate patterns and sparkles.
- Potpourri bowls:
Decorate your sitting and dining area with potpourri bowls. You can also use glass trays or jars instead of bowls. Fill them with a mixture of colourful dried petals and spices and spritz them with a little essential oil to add to your festive decorations and make your pooja days extra special.
Although Torans are traditionally made with mango leaves and marigold flowers, you can get creative with colourful cloth. Embroider it, add pearl beads or embellish it with mirror work and your toran is ready to be strung across your pooja room or front door.
- Flower Garlands:
Choose between fresh flowers and hand made ones, to give your home and backyard a festive look. Marigolds are commonly used but you can make them of flowers you find most attractive or colourful. You can make flowers out of crepe paper, tissue paper, cloth, or ribbons.
Celebrating Navratri in your luxury villa in Goa can be a lot of fun; from decoration to dandiya. So how do you plan to decorate your special place for this special occasion?