Navratri golu ideas in Tamil how to keep

Navaratri is celebrated on the next day after Mahalaya Amavasaya , called Padwa .

( Update for 2017 Navaratri starts on 21.09.2017 , Thursday because Mahalaya Amavasya is spread over two days 19.09.2017 and 20.09.2017 )  whereas in 2016 it was celebrated on October 1st because there was no such problem.
  • On  Pattimai as we say in Tamil all the dolls are taken out from the loft where we usually store them safely .
  • The dolls are cleaned well after removing the protective cloth we cover them with
  • The steps are arranged in odd numbers 3,5,7,9 or even 11 according to the space available
  • Lord Ganesha dolls are kept at the top on the first step 
  • Dolls of other Gods are also kept on the first step
  • On the second step dolls of Dasavatharam, Rama with Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman are kept
  • On the third step dolls of Gurus like Raghavendra Swami, Sai Baba, Sankracharya , Mahaperiyava, Swami Vivekananda are kept
  • Kalasam is on the third step ( Kalasam is a small silver or brass vessel decorated with a fruit like pomegranate or moosambi with a flower on the top.  Betel leaves are inserted on either side of the fruit
  • It is not necessary that we use coconut for the kalasam for this festival
  • If we have three steps then kalasam is kept on the second step or padi
  • A special festival menu is prepared for the first day of the festival
  • Everyday in the morning and evening offer dhoop, aarthi and camphor to the golu along with the Pooja room
  • We can offer neivedyam in the morning .  It can be sweets, sundal, kheer
  • The place where we keep the golu should be given the importance and cleanliness we give for Pooja room.
  • The kolu is decorated with kolam of various types

  • The kolam can include traditional small padi kolam, and innovative ideas like rangoli on water, kundan rangoli.  It is left to our imagination
  • We can also make parks .  Plastic sets of chairs , tables etc, small and suitable  for kolu are available.
  • We should sprinkle water and spray seeds of vendhayam, mustard which will grow quickly and give a natural appearance.  Sprinkling water should be done daily till the seeds start to sprout
  • We can use ragi seeds also for golu parks
  • We can give thamboolam daily to ladies who visit our house.  If we find it difficult to give on all nine days we can earmark one day , preferably Friday for offering thamboolam
  • Thamboolam consists of two or four betel leaves, areca nut, coconut, and blouse piece.  We can give fruits instead of coconut
  • These days the trend is instead of blouse piece , gifts in the form of plastic containers etc are given.  This can also be done
  • For unmarried young women we can give artificial jewellery.  For children we can give pencils, pens, sketch pens 
  • Daily in the evening we can sing devotional songs we know before the kolu or golu in the evening.
  • On Mahanavami day , after the evening pooja, at night , the khalasam is moved a little and some of the dolls are placed supine
  • The next day i.e on Vijayadasami or the next we can remove the dolls and steps and wait for the next year Navaratri that can be celebrated with greater joy with the grace of God. 
Navarathri return gift ideas 
There is a tradition of giving thamboolam to ladies ( our friends, relatives and neighbours ) who come during the festival.  Thamboolam includes 2 or 4 betel leaves, areca nut , fruits and coconut and a blouse piece.  I have purchased 15 Tulsi plants instead of a blouse piece or any other common gift .  This gives satisfaction to the mind because I feel it Punya to those who give and receive Tulsi plant.
Some of Navratri golu ( நவராத்திரி கொலு  ) decoration I made for 2017 ,  I have added and updated the post.  
The one on the left is a rangoli or water drawn by filling water in a plate, sprinkling solvent based glass colours and then drawing a traditional rangoli on it ,  it floats without any problem.  The next one on the right is an innovative rangoli design for decoration 
Quick and easy rangoli for Navarathri golu
Another view of the rangoli design
We can draw a big or small padi kolam for the golu on one of the days particularly Friday.  The size of the kolam depends upon the space available before the golu steps.  I have shared a relatively big padi kolam   This is a very traditional design with square centre, neli lines on four sides expanded with straight lines .  The gaps are filled with designs of our choice.  The images below should  give an idea for the step by step approach to this rangoli.
Navratri special rangoli - step 1
Special traditional rangoli for Navratri - step 2
Picture shows another step 
I have given two options , one a simple quick rangoli and the other a very traditional padi kolam or rangoli design with lines.  We can chose one of them or both !

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