Navrathri is one of the popular festivals of South India. During Navrathri, golu is displayed in houses. Golu is an exhibition of dolls – primarily of Gods and Goddesses arranged in ‘steps’ setup. Generally, these dolls are setup to depict mythology. Each day of golu has a significance, and is associated to a goddess. The three primary Goddessess – Durga,Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped over the 9 days of the festival.
Since golu is considered to be more of a festival for women, this also becomes an occassion for women to invite their family and friends to visit the navrathri golu and exchange gifts specific to the occassion. Various varieties of sundal (cooked grains/pulses/gram) are served hot to the guests. This is a special recipe prepared during the occassion. A few varieties of sundal are shown below:
The end of the navrathri is Saraswati puja where the Goddess of knowledge is worshipped and a puja is performed. The navrathri is looked forward to by women who have the practice of setting up golu since it also becomes an opportunity to showcase their creativity and setup the dolls in an innovative manner. The below image shows idols with crowns adorned with gem stones to enhance the beauty of the dolls.
Some also setup parks and other such displays making this a colourful festival!
No wonder Golu is a favourite of children and is liked by people across all ages.