Indian festivals have drawn travellers all over the world, not because of tradition but culture. With the arrival of festivals, the digit of COVID-19 cases is increasing. During the first three phases of unlocking, several Indian festivals have been held with permission, no crowding, etc.
The Puri Rath Yatra, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid and other Indian festivals were enjoyed amid limitations. Next, the queue is the biggest festival Navratri or Durga puja. With the arrival of Goddess Durga, the administrations are continuously ensuring people are maintaining social distancing.
The nationwide lockdown was essential but it indeed has a huge impact on how to celebrate Navratri. On 20th October Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his seventh address to the nation since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, cautioned the public against letting the guard down during the upcoming festive season.
“We must keep in mind that the lockdown is over but the coronavirus is still there,” Modi said.
“I want to see all of you safe and your families happy. I want to see festivals bring cheer your lives,” said the prime minister while wishing citizens for upcoming Indian festivals such as Eid, Diwali, Chhat puja, and also appealed social media users and the media to spread awareness.
The health ministry has already issued different guidelines for these upcoming festivals I.e cultural gatherings from September 21, is with a cover of 100 individuals only.
Navaratri is a festival in the honor of the divine feminine goddess, Durga. It celebrates the nine forms of Goddess Durga.
Each form is different in its own way. The idea of celebrating women with all their unique qualities is being adopted in real life but symbolically. This time, yet, Navratri is closing when the world is in a huge pandemic situation.
Kanya poojan is basically worshipping the 7 to 9 school-going age girls as Goddess. It lays on inviting them over to the worshipper’s home, worshipping her like washing their feet, decorating them with kumkum, gifting them useful items and some money accompanied by fruits as well as eatables.
Eatables usually include the cooked prasad for the day (sooji halwa, chana sabzi, poori, and a sweet). After adoring the worshipper touches the feet of Kanyas. This detailed Kanya Pooja ritual is not valid this year as it does not match the social distancing norms.
With Kanya Puja on Maha Ashtami (24 October) and Maha Navami (25 October) is risky due to COVID-19 and difficult to do due to lockdown. The tradition needs to be followed and people are wondering how to observe it maintaining social distance.
Here are the ways to celebrate upcoming Indian Festivals maintaining social distancing
Sing Bhajans Alone
Indian festivals are not all about traditions. People actually remember the emotions, and memories that connect. People try to stay attached to them as much as they can.
Since this year is different, people need to avoid gatherings. So devotees can sing bhajans and Keertans in their houses alone. It will not give the same pleasure as in past. But it will be better in this situation, rather than not doing it at all.
Packing food for Kanya Poojan
This Navratri, COVID-19 has made it very difficult for devotees. The worldwide lockdown has reduced the demands of fruits and other items at nearby places. People are also advised not to move out until it is very much necessary.
So this year, people may not avail to go out and get fruits. Like every year you cannot invite girls to our home for Kanya Poojan. As the rituals begin by washing their feet, feeding them, and cheer them back with gifts.
In 2020, for Kanya Poojan, you can decide to pack food and send it to the girls’ houses instead of inviting them to your house. And gifts could be adjusted with some money along with it.
Feeding Stray Cows
The pandemic has changed a lot of things. Every year on Ashtami or Navami young girls are invited to different homes for Kanya Poojan. It feels so fortunate. But this 2020, Kanya Poojan, it is risky to call little children at home. Instead, devotees can feed cows, as cows are worshipped in Hindu culture.
We also get cows to roam around in our neighbourhood and we can easily feed them. This year to be safe it better to feed them instead of girls for Kanya Poojan.
Donate to Relief Funds
Accepting the present situation, some people can also donate the amount of the festival budget to relief funds. As the funds get utilized in reasonable work. These funds are used to save children and also against the children who are deprived of quality education. This step will certainly be a great and remarkable work during this hard time.
Celebrate Indian Festivals with Relatives & Friends by Online
No matter which Indian festival you want to celebrate, connect with dear one’s online. Use Whatsapp call, Zoom or Google Meet to call your friends and relatives and recall festival fun you had in past years. If you want to gift something to your parents or sibling just avail Amazon Great Indian Festival sale and start shopping.
Indian culture adds significant backgrounds with the local community and sees the nation in its most joyous way. India, being a land of spirituality and Indian festivals the heart of humanity. The various and mixed celebrations that are held throughout the year adds a unique way of discovering Indian culture at its best. The festivals in India are a memorable one for all Indians.