What can one say about the saree that has not been said before? Traditional attire and yet trendy in look, it is indeed rightly acknowledged as the social fabric of the nation. Festival or wedding, function or party, casual outing or informal gathering, the saree is the Indian woman’s choice for any of these occasions if she has to look attractive, be singled out for attention. A fabric of elegance and allure, comfort and confidence, easy on the body and carried throughout the day, there is no other garment that can match the saree for its very many advantages.
Durga Puja Celebrations
If there is a country in the world known for its diversity of cultures and beliefs and celebrations marking occasions for a host of diverse reasons it is India. There is always a spirit of celebration in the country be it in pockets, among certain sections of people or a mass celebration of an event that may be observed in different ways but signifies a common link across the nation. Such a mass celebration is Durga Puja.
Durga Puja or Durgotsava the annual Hindu festival that celebrates the worship of Goddess Durga and her various incarnations is from the seventh to the ninth day of the bright lunar fortnight in the Hindu month of Ashwin. However it includes Mahalaya the sixth day and Vijayadashmi the tenth day after the nine day period of Navaratri as an auspicious period during which Maa Durga blesses her devotees while in their midst. The significance of the festival is the display of triumph of good over evil in the slaying of the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga.
Widely celebrated in the states of Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Tripura and Odisha having a majority of Bengali Hindus, this festival devoted to the worship of Maa Durga also finds devotees spread across the Northern and Western states of India, as well as the neighbouring country of Nepal. Religious and cultural observances have also made their way to foreign shores like UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore and Kuwait to mention the fairly significant ones.
The appeal of the saree
The Indian saree, garment from ancient times, has over the passage of time been much explored and experimented with, to transform from a traditional attire of need to a fashion fabric of appeal.
The delightful variety from the plain, simple coloured and lightly adorned cotton and silk blends worn by many women in their daily routine, to the jazzy stylish heavily decorated silks with all sorts of finery and additive features known as fashion and special wear meant for exclusive occasions such as weddings, grand parties or social invites.
Saree fabric material could be cotton, silk, jute, nylon, rayon, Georgette, chiffon, satin etc. or blends. There is no dearth of traditional varieties and modern art silks and current tastes have encouraged brilliant fusion experiments of the two to evolve a new range of splendid never-before-seen fabrics having trending designs and patterns incorporated in the conventional handloom weaves.
The fabric spread in the handloom varieties across the country
Silks have always been a favourite with women because of the rich look, airy comfort and the exclusiveness in price compared to other fabrics. Especially costly pure silk sarees that range from 15000 rupees onwards to touch a lakh and above, are jealously guarded, worn with caution and care exercised at every step, to be worn for grand exclusive occasions only.
Cottons are preferred for summer or hot weather conditions and for long continuous spells of wearing. Light in weight, very airy, comfortable, cottons come in light shades and medium coloured hues and very preferred for casual outings, office, daily wear since they are not as costly as silks. However the new trend is to prefer cottons for long spells of wear. The cottons too with prints, batik, mercerization, adornments like zari, multi-color thread work, kundan work and a whole lot of other decorative features have made such fabrics very much attractive and beckoning by look, price already being so.