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phuang manao (พวงมะนาว)

Thai. A cluster of lemons, i.e. a garland, wreath or lei made of lemons. In Hinduism, 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 festival of 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.