phuang manao (พวงมะนาว)
cluster of lemons’, i.e.
a garland, wreath or lei made of lemons. In
lemons are used as a medium or go-between of the gods, used to eradicate ominous
spirits or ghosts and bad things. This type of garland is especially used during the Hindu
Navaratri, and on the last day and climax of this ancient Indian festival, which is known as
Vijayadazaami (fig.). In this
festival, the goddess
Uma, who has many forms and other
names, is worshipped, and the lemon garland is reminiscent of the garland of
decapitated human heads that she wears in her form as
Mahakali (fig.), one of her malevolent aspects.