Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Navarathri Celebrations and Navarathri Recipes

Navarathri (Dusshera) is a festival celebrated in most parts of India with pomp and splendour. In Tamil Nadu we celebrate Navarathri with a Golu Arrangement. Golu is an arrangement of Bommai. Bommai is basically dolls usually made of clay or plaster of paris and painted. Usually a multitude of themes are used for the bommai.

Navarathri 2013 is from Oct 5th to Oct 14th

There will be bommai of gods - lakshmi, saraswati, pullayar (ganesha), shiva, parvathi, krishna etc. A Kalasam (pot with coconut and mango leaves) is arranged. Then there are some that come as sets like the dasavatharam, ashta lakshmi, ramar-seethai-lakshmana-hanuman etc. Another one that I love is Chettiyar Bommai (I do not have it yet). Marapachi (man and women made of wood) also form part of the golu. You can add in some little dolls for buddha, sai baba, gandhi, vivekananda etc. Lot of little bommai or curios representing cultural aspects are also added - like the elephant, peacock, choppu set (cooking set).

The number of steps kept in the golu is usually odd numbered, starting from 3 going up like 5,7,9,11,13 etc. I have seen 13 steps in my aunt's house. I have a humble 5 step golu in my house.

Coming to the neivedhyam - offering. Usually sundals are made. Sundals are basically dals and beans cooked with coconut and spices. Some days sweet neivedhyams are also done like chakkara pongal, aval puttu etc.

Women are invited to the other houses to be given Vettala Paakku (Betal leaf and betal nut) along with manjal kunkumam (turmeric and kumkum). They will also be given some of the sundal made that day. Kids especially enjoy dressing up in their festive best and going to see golu in their neighbour's houses. Songs are sung by the ladies and kids in praise of the gods.

We make an evening out of this. Celebration lasts for 10 days coming to an end on the Maha Nahanavami day.

I will be posting the different sundals and sweets that I make in the coming days.

Happy Navarathri to all of you.

Sundal Varieties
1. Green Peas Sundal (Pacha Pattani)

3. Green Moong Dal Sundal (Pacha Payar)


2. Appam

  1. Carrot Semiya Payasam
  2. Pal Payasam
  3. Badam Semiya Payasam
  4. Palada Payasam
  5. Ada Pradaman


  1. Nice golu you 've got there Roshni! Happy Navarathiri!

  2. Wonderful! Happy Navarathri to you Roshni :)

  3. Very nice arrangement..I too have the dasavatharam and ashatalakshmi dolls...I love that woodeen choppu set as well...I remember playing with them..They remain the same till now with no major changes...bought a set for my daughters recently...But alas they were least interested in it:(

  4. cutey cute golu rosh i love the marapachi bommai reminds me of amma s golu and my childhood...

  5. Happy Navaratri to you & yours Roshni. Golu looks very nice

  6. Very nice Golu Roshni. Did not know you kept golus. Unfortunately we do not have that tradition only fasting is there for me.

  7. Golu loos so good with yummy collection of recipes

  8. Hi,

    Would you mind sharing me the details where we can buy these idols in UK?
    It is brilliant collection.