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Sep 16

Written by: Jayanthi
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Golu is one of my favorite Tamil Navarathri traditions that I have been doing in my home since 2002. Something fascinates me about Golu and compells me to do it every year.

I like to see images of others golus to get inspiration and ideas. In this post, I will share a few YouTube videos of others Golu displays that have left an impression on me.

GDATUK shares a short video of their golu as displayed in Madurai. When viewing this video you will notice a large collection of colorful handicrafted ceramic dolls and statues. These are the traditional 'dolls' displayed on the golu in many parts of South India. Often these dolls are available just before Navarathri, sold in special shops or street side 'shops' by handicrafters. These dolls are also available at select temples in Tamil Nadu. Also, on this golu is fruits, and recreated garden displays. Some people actually create weeks in advance small replicas of rice paddy fields to recreate a village scene. In this video, I am not sure if the greenry that looks like grass is real or articificial. Enjoy this video.


The second video is by Swathy Vasu.


I find it hard to make out what is being said in this video. I will share a few of my thoughts after seeing the video. I liked the arrangement of items on the steps. It is said that each step should be arranged in a certian way. I think she has tried to follow the formula for this. On the bottom, is the decorated coconut. Often in India a decorated coconut represents the goddess. In this case, the golu is created in celebration of the goddess, so this makes sense. Decorating a coconut as a goddess and displaying it has a name, but I forget what it is called. The second step is adorned with the famous chettiar dolls. The dolls are sold in a pair, male and female, I think they represent an old couple. The couple should be surrounded by kitchen utensils to represent a householder's life. The third step has a collect of Indian and Western dolls to create a scenery. In the middle of the fourth step are two 'black dolls' dressed in colorful clothes. These dolls are called Marapachi dolls. I think often they are sold without clothes and the owners make new dresses for them each year. It is said that the day before the last day of golu that one of these two dolls (I am not sure if it matters if it is the female or male) are laid on it's side, or 'put to sleep'. In doing this, the owner or creator of the kolu will pray to God thanking God for this year's beautiful golu and wishing the same and more prosperous golu celebration for the following years. The top shelf has tallest dolls and statues. On the top, decorated elephants are seen. The decoration of elephants in this way is typical in the southwestern state of Kerala. Enjoy the video.


In 2009, Navarathri falls between Saturday, October 19 and Monday, September 28. Want to know when is Navarathri in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond? Follow my India America Interfaith and Social Calendar to have holiday reminders sent to your inbox!

Thank you for spending your time on Alaivani.com.

Related Posts/Sites:
Nothing like Navarathri: An American’s Passion and Continuation of Navarathri in US  
Nothing Like Navarathri: Preparing for Festivities 
Nothing Like Navarathri: What Is Celebrated During Navarathri

Viajaya Dashami Festival in Mauritius (Part 1 of 2)
Vijaya Dashami in Mauritius (Part 2 of 2) - Stories/Legends


Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


3 comments so far...

Re: Virtual Golu - Videos of Dolls Display for Navarathri

This was interesting...

I never knew such a thing exists...

I only witnessed Garba during navarathri...

this sppears new...

By Abhilash - Life at Abhi on   Friday, October 16, 2009

Re: Virtual Golu - Videos of Dolls Display for Navarathri

Your navarathri videos are very nice and you have lot of dolls. Now www.navaratri.org annouces navarathri golu competition now. They sell different sizes and different types of dolls in www.navarathri.com. Then they give ideas to arrranging golu for newers also.

By rajmathy on   Friday, October 16, 2009

Re: Virtual Golu - Videos of Dolls Display for Navarathri

Abhilash.. Even in US, the North Indian celebrations of Navararthri (Dandia/Garba) are more widely known among Indians of all backgrounds. These are the public celebrations attended not only by Indians, but Americans too. All come dressed in nice Indian dresses and dance clicking away with the dandiyas. This post about a Tamil lady who comes to US and discovers the North Indian way of celebrating Navarathri! Imagine coming half way around the globe to learn about the culture in your next door neighbor's back yard! :)

By admin on   Friday, October 16, 2009

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