This year golu, we managed with bunny, animals and marble dust god idols we bought from India.
Navarathri in Bay Area is a grand celebration. Colorful dresses, classical music, variety of sundal, dinner buffet everything is ultimately divine and classic.
This year we wanted to buy some clay dolls. Yes our next stop is imart at sunnyvale. They have huge collections of clay dolls, kondampalli dolls. We wanted to buy something which we dont have in Our home at India. So we bought the ram sethu set. Thats the highlight of our kolu.
We made sure we have atleast one person for arshina kumkuma per day.
Personally i feel golus are the way to have get together, meeting friends and families, enjoying the native food and having lifetime memories with the celebration.
It is one of the commonly celebrated festival in India.
In South India, people have a system called golu(Display of dolls) for all the nine days and invites friends and family for arishina kumkuma
It is celebrated in Ashvayuja Masa Shukla Paksha.
According to Indian Lunar calendar, it has to be celebrated in the first nine days of Sharad Rutu (Indian Autumn season). So it is also called Sharad-Navaratri.
In Ashvayuja Maasa Mahatme of Bhavishyottara Purana Lord Narayana himself has explained about its significance to Sri Narada.
Starting from the day one of Ashvayuja month and till the tenth day, one should observe Navaratri ritual to please Goddess Mahalakshmi in form of Nava (9) Durga.
The purana emphasized that Goddess Lakshmi will fulfill all her devotees’ wishes by taking various forms viz Jayanti, Mangala, Kali, Swadha, Swaha, Kapalini, Durga, Kshama, Shivaa, Dhatree.
It is a common practice to recite srinivasa kalyana, Lakshmi shobhane, Sundara Kaandam etc by Women all the days and Men have the practice of doing sumadhwa vijaya paraayana on everyday and doing samarpaana on Vijayadasami day(Madhva Jayanthi)
How to Keep Golu/Kolu
A Kolu/Golu is a arrangement of steps for displaying clay dolls, toys etc
The number of steps should be in odd number: 3,5,7,9,11
Readymade Kolu racks are available in Market. On normal days, you can utilize the same rack as book shelves or any purpose your home needs
One quick tip is busy the rack very early so that you dont need to pay high prices because of the demand in Navrathri time
You need a Cloth(Dhothi) to cover the steps and pushpins or safety pins to pin the ends properly
In case of not having a rack, you can custom steps using the boxes or tables you already have in home
In Tamilnadu, we have Kadhi craft Doll sales two to three months before navarathri
Mostly common available doll in every home includes:Ashta lakshmi, Dashaavatharam, Durga , saraswathy, Mahalakshmi, Chettiar bommai, Wedding set, Choppu saaman, Pillayaar(Ganesh), Chettiar bommai etc
Every year it is a tradition to buy one new doll atleast
After the wedding, for the first navarathri, Girls parent used to gift her clay dolls for Navarathri
This kolu setup is totally creative. You can make Mountains, park, zoo, anything as you want
There are more sets available in Market: Narasimha avathara, Brahmothsavam, Srinivasa Kalyanaam, Tulasi pooje, Sri ranganatha, Paanduranga, etc
Marappachi bommai(Wooden dolls gifted during marriage by parents) is a must to decorate and place in Kolu
Try to arrange the dolls in Tharatamya order(Madhwa Philosophy)
Keep the Kolu on Mahalaaya AMavasya day, Place the dolls in the evening itself
Keep the kalasa on the rack first
Draw a colorful rangoli in front of the kolu
Place kutthu vilakku (Deepadha Kamba) on both sides
Do not Keep the dolls that are partly broken or damaged in the kolu
Even if you buy lot of new dolls, It is the old dolls that you should always include with new ones
If you are arranging five step kolu (for example)means Try to keep God dolls in first four steps , in the last step you can keep chettiyar , Cricket set , Marriage set, etc
Do pooja to the kalasa every morning and evening in all the nine days
Eveyday do Sundal as Neivedhya and Distribute it to the Mutthaidharu by inviting them to your house
On the evening of vijaya dasami(last day), Do udi thumbodhu to Marapachi(wooden doll) and keep the dolls in the sleeping position. Move the kalasa a little bit towards north
This 10th day stands for celebration of victory of good over evil.
The Shamee tree symbolizes the victory. Being devout to this tree and offering Pooja to it will fetch victory in all our deeds.
The pandavas completing their span of 12 year in jungle hid all weapons on this tree and proceeded to live incognito. After completing this tenure they and took back the weapons and prayed the tree for a conquer; and the achieved it too!.
And also, Lord Rama surpassed Ravana on this day at Lanka. That is why this day is called Vijaya Dashami.
This day also marks the birth of Sri Madhwacharyaru. Madhva Jayanthi is celebrated all over the World by Hari bhaktas