Among various Hindu festivals navrathri is an important one.As the name itself suggests it is celebrated for nine days.It is celebrated different ly in different parts of India.It is celebrated religiously and socially across India.
In some states of India Durga Pooja is celebrated.Goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over buffalo demon to help restore dharmam.
The story goes Goddess Durga received great power to fight against mahishasuran.so all the other God’s transmitted their power to Durga and later turned into statues.In order to respect their sacrifice we keep kolu at home.
In these days poojas are done.Some people keep kolu in their houses.Golu is the festive display of dolls and figurines in South India during navrathri time.These displays are thematic,some narate legend from Hindu text and cultural issue.
A series of steps is set up.This may in wood or metal or any stand is used.It is mandatory that the arrangement of the koludolls should be off number of steps like3,5,7,9.It can be simple or elaborate.The women of the house invite the other women and girl children to inspect kolu,eat some snacks,sing songs in front of it and exchange goodies.
The celebration of nine nights has been died into three groups.Day1 to 3 for Goddess Durga,4to 6 for Lakshmi and 7 to 9 for Saraswati.
Kolu begins with a kalasa pooja instead of a photo or a idol Goddess Durga is represented in the form of kalasam.A brass or silver pot filled with water covered with a coconut and mango leaves.It is believed that Goddess Durga reside inside the kalasam during the nine days of the puja and brings peace and prosperity into our homes.
Arrangements of Kolu Padi
In these we keep idola of Goddess Durga,Lakshmi and Saraswati.Also will keep dolls of Shiva ,Vishnu and others.
Here one keeps the idols of saints,like Guru Ragavender,Saibaba,Azhwars and National leaders.
Dolls of your choice.like festivals,marriage,functions or poojas.These can be with a set of dolls conveying the theme.
This can be for creativity.Also will keep chettiar and chettichi with the household things in front of them.
Marapachi dolls. This is made of wood and mostly will be in pair.
Then we can have themes like park,zoo, playground etc.
Sarawati Pooja is celebrated on the ninth day of the festival.If one is not able to keep for all the nine days can keep for at least last three days.
The day next to Saraswati Pooja is Vijayadasami.This day is special to start anything new.xhildren are introduced to the world of letters.It makes a new and prosperous beginning. Even other art forms will be started.
So though they say 9 days literally 11 days are included in this.
Some dos for the Pooja:
- Women should have head bath daily.
- Put kolam in front of the kolu.
- Offer neivedyam twice a day.Morning can keep rice varieties and in the evening can keep snack items like various sundal varieties using lentils or sweets or vadai.
- Some avoid usage of onion and garlic.
- When we remove kolu we should move the doll towards north.Put the dolls to sleep after neivedyam.
- Suppose if the 10rhday is Friday or Tuesday put the dolls to sleep after 10th morning neivedyam and make the sleep till noon.
- Sprinkle water from kalasamon the family members and the remaining water to the Tulsi plant
- Can cover the stand or steps using cloth.
- Steps must face North or East.
When small we used to wear silk skirts plait our hair with the kunj lam keep flowers.some stitch flowers like thalamboo or Jasmine in their plait. That is dress traditionally and visit houses.
The scientific reason behind preparing sundal is that we get easily tired and feel it due to weather.So protein rich diet is recommended.
Vijayadasami day is the day for victory over evil.It makes new properous and new beginning so children are introduced to the world of learning. Also they begin learning art forms like music and dancing.
I don’t keep kolu in my home but my my close friend Rathi keeps Kolu in her house .I have shared the photos of her Kolu. Each year she arranges differently and is very well arranged.
The above three photos are my neighbour ushas Kolu.