flower arrangement Five eye-catching flower arrangements to set the mood for Durga Puja celebrations
Durga Puja celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. It begins with Mahalaya, the same day as the start of Navratri, a nine-night festival celebrating the divine feminine. Durgotsava or Sharadotsava is traditionally celebrated in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, and Bangladesh.
Flowers are an integral part of Durga Puja. One hundred and eight lotus flowers signify the 108 names of Goddess Durga. The flowers that would be dear to him are red hibiscus, red kana, lotus, marigold, champa and jasmine. Most of these DIY flower arrangements are largely adorned with these flowers mentioned above.
Dried talpata (tal palm leaves) are cut into strips of equal width and woven together and a simple basket is created. In ancient times, talpata was used to create pata chitra in Odisha. Two similar baskets of different sizes are woven. A humid oasis is fixed or glued to the center. A medium-sized marigold cluster is fixed in the oasis and appears “larger than life” in terms of visual weight. Large, parallel flowers are attached to the curved line of the basket handle.
Shola (pith) flowers are painted yellow and tied with Ixora and Xanadu leaves commonly available in the market. Shola is a dried milky white spongy plant material of the species Aeschynomene aspera and can be pressed and shaped into items of choice. It is commonly used in eastern India. This is finished with green button chrysanthemum embellishments. A group of two to three such baskets animates the show during the festival.
India has a great tradition of welcoming guests with bandarwar all over the country. A wrought iron stand with these gorgeous latkans made up of shola rings with fresh flowers and leaves is designed to make this lightweight loop and coil arrangement easy to hang. Thin rolls of shola are cut into the shape of flower petals and colored and glued on top of each other. Shola buds, which are readily available in the market, are symmetrically glued to them, creating volume on the circular floral pattern. Cool contrasting vivid red carnations are tied at equal distances to create an illusion of floral abundance. Sundari green lianas intertwine the iron stand throughout with a dense cluster of chikoo leaves at the bottom of the stand, adding further distinction.
A bouquet of rajnigandha latkans hangs from the end of each hanging, giving off a beautiful scent pleasing to the senses.
Supli bamboo or kulo bamboo – a light but strong structure, skillfully woven with a bit of depth and ledges to contain all the essentials of the ceremony, is the basis of this design. This auspicious kulo is offered to Ma Durga with all the offerings dear to her. Hibiscus and jui mala are accompanied by fresh green coconuts with muli thread – a must in all puja offerings. The white conch that creates the divine sound of purity is placed next to it. Shankha signifies brilliance, purity and auspicious beginnings. The Chinese palm leaves are cut – some with a natural green color and a few with bright red to create a vibrant color palette that visually enhances the design. Xanadu leaves and wheat stalks are added to provide a contrast in texture. The good news is that all of this content is available in local markets and allows for more creativity.
FLORAL ALPANE / RANGOLI
Brightening up the festival celebration, the floral alpana is considered a harbinger of good luck. This symmetrical design begins with the central circular Rajnigandha mala filled with small pink shola lotus flowers on a base of chikoo leaves. Red and white is a typical combination of Bengal puja. Large lotus leaves of different sizes are placed outside this circle. The periphery is bordered by a yellow marigold mala dotted with small shola lotus flowers inside and outside the dividing line. They add a touch of color variation to this attractive floor design. Thin garlands of jui flowers are used to create large dots with green bud chrysanthemums and create abundance and extra interest. Go ahead and experiment with different shapes and repeating ingredients.
TRADITIONAL TABLE OFFERS
This tabletop floral design relates to both the shape of the outline of the overall design and the shapes within the outline. The components of this design are each unique and distinct. The silhouette of each component interpretation is sculpted from traditional considerations. The placement of large, fresh banana leaves creates an elongated flow. Metallic adds to the ornamentation in this traditional massed composition. Large pink banana flowers and open leaves stand out visually. The band of flowers around a bunch of durba grass is strategically and alternately placed along the entire length. Tiny shiuli flowers add a touch of contrast to this rustic design. Repeated use of pink lotus adds to the drama and the long red and white checkered gamchha fabric creates a path of movement and greater impact that facilitates visual interest.
This can be used as a console or dining table design. You can light a few scented incense sticks or tiny terracotta candle jars for more variation.
Sunita Kanoria, trained in Pushpa Bitan, is a judge for flower arrangement competitions at the national level, and is currently using her time and talent as a flower decoration demonstrator on various forums.