Navarathiri or Dussera or Golu is one of the most important festival in India and is celebrated all over india by various name ( yet will sound almost similar).
Golu is a custom that is practiced here in tamil nadu during the navarathri days to worship goddess shakti/devi as mark of victory of good over evil.Three – three days are allotted each for goddess durga goddess lakshmi and goddess saraswati . Relatives and friends are invited to the house usually ladies and girls . This year it starts on 8th october 2010 and ends on 16th october (saraswathi pooja) and 17th october is celebrated as vijayadasami.
Navarathiri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.
Navarathiri (or navratri) the period of nine days and nights when Goddess Durga fought the Asura is celebrated as Navarathiri in Tamilnadu. Its called Dussera in all over india especially in north india.
Goddess Durga is considered as the personification of courage, strength, and power and praying to the goddess, helps one to be blessed with all these qualities especially during Dussera.
Married ladies pray to the Goddess for the well being of the family and children by performing pujas and reciting Lalitha Sahasranamam. Especially the last 3 days of the nine day festival are very auspicious namely the "Aayutha poojai", Saraswathi Poojai" and the "Vijayadasami Poojai"
In Chennai Navarathiri is known for Kolu, the festival of dolls . The dolls which are wrapped in dhotis and papers and stored in the attic are brought down at least two days prior to the commencement of Kolu. The doll makers at their best mind power try themselves to be innovative every year and really produces lot of different varities.
Women who are focused with thematic presentations go around ransacking the shops to collect dolls for their theme. To conceptualize any theme a person should be well versed with the epics, spiritual, social and historical facts. Many kolu buffs dish out novel themes like cricket Ganapathy, stone sculptures at Mammalapuram and Ravana durbar.
Sundal is a dish made up of items like groundnuts ,peas etc. For each day a unique type of sundal is made which makes 9 different receipes for the whole navarathiri. It’s a norm to be asked to sing especially if one is young – the knowledge of music was once upon a time considered indispensable for a “nalla samathu ponnu” (very good girl) :-).