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Lebanon Trail High School News

The Vanguard

Lebanon Trail High School News

The Vanguard

Navaratri: Delving Into Golu and Its Origin


As the nine-day vegetarian diet commences, Navara-tree (Navaratri) remains a sacred tradition for Indians alike. 

Golu is the South Indian way of celebrating Navaratri, using dolls to convey the story of Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga is the Goddess of Protection and War, who defeated the evil demon, Mahishasura. 

Navaratri can be understood by breaking up the words, Nava and Ratri– namely, in Sanskrit. Nava, meaning the number nine, and Ratri, roughly translating to, ‘nights’. Each of the nine days is dedicated to a particular form of Goddess Durga and her efforts to defeat Mahishsura, the demon who successfully invaded and took control over the Kingdom of Gods. 

After the Gods cried out for Durga’s help, she took on different forms to defeat the evil demon. In South India, it is believed that Durga only battled three days, then transformed into Goddess Lakshmi, who battled another three days, and finally, transformed into Goddess Saraswathi, who battled the final three days.

However, this is very different from the North Indian belief in which Durga, herself, took on nine forms: Maa Katyayani, Maa Kaalrati, Maa Maha Gauri, Maa Skandmata, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Brahmacharini, Maa Shailputri, Maa Kushmanda, and Maa Siddhidatri. This is why North India hosts the Durga Festiva over the course of nine consecutive days, dedicated to one form per day.

South India usually uses a staircase, the Golu, which depicts each “generation” of the gods, and the stories behind them, to emphasize the significance of Durga’s victory. South India, however, celebrates all of the gods during this sacred week, rather than just Durga. Meaning, the stories behind each Golu differs from household to household. 

For both South and North Indians alike, meat should not be consumed during the week of Navaratri. Meat is said to have strayed from the purities of these Hindu traditions, since animals are considered gods themselves. 

Golu, for South Indians, began this year on Sunday, October 15, 2023, and usually takes place near the spooky season. This holiday is long-followed by South Indians, from the intricacies of building, to the expressive stories told through each household’s perspective.

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Bhavana Balaji, Staff Reporter
Bhavana Balaji is a 16 year old junior who finds herself singing, dancing, and mainly kick boxing in her spare time punching bags to take her temper out. She is also passionate about becoming a lawyer, stating that she loves defending people who need help and that everyone deserves a lawyer along with a second chance. She elaborates, saying the government won't truly know a person until the right human represents them. Bhavana continues to take classes contributing to law like AP Psychology, Court Systems, and AP Seminar. Finally, her hope is to be known for being there in the small things as well as the big, and Bhavana desires that Lebanon Trail students will put in effort to create a positive environment to take LTHS to the next level. Contact Info - [email protected]

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