Navratri 2022: It is that time of the year again. The country decks up in colours, lights and happiness with Navratri every year. Navratri, literally translating to nine nights, is the celebration of ten days. It worships the avatars of goddess Shakti. All throughout the country, Navratri is celebrated in different ways and with different names during this time. While North India celebrates Navratri, in West Bengal it is called Durga Puja – one of the biggest festival of Bengalis. West Bengal also worships goddess Durga and her four children – goddess Lakshmi, goddess Saraswati, lord Ganesha and lord Kartik. During this time, people come back to their homes and celebrate the festival in new clothes, lights and a whole lot of grandeur and pomp. They surround themselves with their near and dear ones and bask in festivities.
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Ghatasthapana is one of the most important rituals of Navratri. It marks the beginning of the festivities. Ghatasthapana is done on the first day of the festivities. Ghatasthapana involves placing a kalash with holy water, in which barley seeds are sewn. There are a range of rules and regulations that are to be kept in mind while performing ghatasthapana. It is believed that if ghatasthapana is not done in the correct way, it can anger goddess Shakti. Here are the following rules and regulations that should be kept in mind while performing this ritual:
Layering of soil: Before invoking goddess Shakti and other gods into the kalash, there is a way of preparing it for ghatasthapana. First the first layer of soil is spread in the wide clay pot and grain seeds are added. Then the process is repeated again. For the third layer, the soil is spread near to the periphery. Then the fourth layer is added.
Holy thread: The holy thread is tied to the kalash, and it is filled with water to the brim. Supari, scent, Durva grass, Akshat and coins are added and ashoka with five leaves are placed on it before covering it with the lid.
Coconut: A coconut is wrapped in red cloth and fastened with a holy thread. The kalash is placed on the wide clay pot, and the coconut is placed on top of it.
Invoking Goddess Durga:
Panchopachara Puja is the puja done with five puja items to request the goddess to place herself in the kalash and stay for nine days of festivities. It is done by showing the lamp to the Kalash and then lighting dhoop sticks and offering it to the kalash. This is followed by flowers and scent, and lastly sweets and fruits are offered to the Kalash.