Navratri celebrations golu songs recipes

Navratri is one of the most important festivals celebrated for nine days , the tenth day being celebrated as Vijayadasami or Dusshera.  Different states of India celebrate it in different ways.  So I would like share how we celebrate the festival in Tamil Nadu.  Probably Andhra Pradesh and  Karnataka also have similar celebrations of the festival.  This post has been updated for Navratri 2016.

Navratri 2016 dates are - Navratri starts on 1st of October the day after the new moon.  
                          Why do we keep Navratri golu

Mythology has it that it is celebrated for the victory of Goddess Shakthi over evil. She became victorious on the tenth day and hence this day is celebrated as Vijayadasami and hence the belief that any auspicious deed commenced on this day will be successful.  That is why we find the advertisements Vijayadasami admission in schools and some private institutions.

While we can attribute many religious and traditional beliefs for keeping the golu, the practical benefits we got when we were young were 

a) There was no TV or internet so we learnt about the avatars when we were involved in placing the dolls for the golu.
b) I learnt kolam by drawing kolam daily before the golu under the supervision of my elder sister and mother 
c) These nine days are also useful  for show casing our crafts.  We can make hand made crafts like OHP sheet rangoli , kundan rangoli , rangoli on water or in water ( when we were young we did not have other craft ideas ).  We can also have some hand made dolls for golu
d) Another advantage of the golu is that we make new friends.  When someone comes new to our neighbourhood, we take this festival as an opportunity to invite them for the thamboolam and develop friendship.  Some of those friendships last for ever and ever.

Navratri preparations at home 

Navratri starts the day after new moon - also called Navratri Padva and is celebrated for nine days.  An auspicious time is chosen for arranging the kolu or golu .  The dolls are taken from the place where they are stored , cleaned well .  The steps are arranged.  The golu steps are usually odd in number 3, 5, 7, 9 and even 11 if we have sufficient space.  The steps are arranged and the dolls are placed on the steps.
On the top most step Lord Ganesha and a few other Gods and Goddesses are placed.  On the second step avatars like Rama avatar, Dasaavatar dolls are placed.  On the third step the dolls of Gurus are placed - Sri Raghavendhra , Sai Baba , Meera , Kanchi Seer .

After these come  the dolls of humans and other theme based dolls. It is customary to keep the dolls of a man and woman merchants with real rice , dhal, etc as if they were selling it , in the fourth or fifth step.
Some images of Navratri golu 2016 following the ideas given above.


Navarathri golu dolls - Ganesha , Lord Ranganathar , Devi Karumari Amman
Golu dolls images - Annamalaiyar, Unnamalai Amman along with Vittal and Rakumai

Dasara golu ideas - Wedding set 
Dusshera golu image - Marapacchi bommai

Mysore Dasara is very popular and famous in India. 

Navaratri golu boomai more pics 
Kamadhenu in Navaratri golu
Kalasam in the golu stand

Innovative rangoli designs with CDs decorating the golu or kolu
Navratri golu kalasam

Navarathri golu kalasam how to keep - images 
Kalasam that is decorated with coconut or pomegranate or moosambi and betel leaves is placed on the first or second step usually. Khalasm is filled with little water , kumkum is added to the water.  On four sides of the khalasam sandal wood paste, turmeric powder and kumkum are applied .

Golu is considered as an extension of Pooja room for nine days and all that is done in the Pooja room like lighting lamps, offering naivedyam , drawing kolam , aarthi and offering camphor are also offered for the golu.  Lamps are lit before the kolu in the morning and evening.

It is customary to make sundal for Navratri , a different sundal a day.  Along with this I also make a sweet recipe for naivedyam - mysore pak , payasam , hyagreeva .

On the first day of Navratri the entrance is decorated with mango leaf thoran , a padi kolam or any other kolam with  a kaavi border.

It is also customary to give thamboolam including betel leaves , areca nut and blouse pieces to married and unmarried women in the evening, every day.  If we do not have sufficient time to perform this tradition daily , we can do it at least on a Navratri Friday.  There is also a tradition of singing songs before the golu.  This is done by ladies who come  for thamboolam also

Some of the songs I sing are 
Vinayagar Tamil song lyrics in English
We start any Pooja be paying obeisance to Ganesha .  So we can sing this simple song sung by Avvaiyar.
( Milk , pure honey , jaggery solution and dhal )
 ( I will mix these four and offer to Thee )
  ( Huge , elephant's head ( You are, beautiful , pure gem )
( You give me knowledge of Tamil )
Tamil moonrum here refers to Iyal , isai and nadagam .
Abhirami Padhigam  and Abhirami Andhadhi by Abhirami Bhattar.
The lyrics in English and the translation in English according to my understanding of Tamil and English ! So please use give your feed back.

Dhanam tharum  ( Gives wealth )
Kalvi tharum  (  Gives education )
Oru naalum thalarvariya manam tharum  ( Gives a mind that knows no fatigue )
Deiva vadivum tharum  ( Gives a God like appearance )
Nenjil vanjamilla inam tharum  ( Gives relatives who know no deceit )
Nallana ellam tharum ( Gives everything that is good )
Anbar enbavarkke ( To the devotees )
Ganam tharam  ( Gives honour and dignity )
Pookuzhal ( Tresses decorated with flowers )
Abhirami kadai kanngale ( A mere glance of Goddess Abhirami )

He says that a mere glance of Goddess Abhirami is sufficient go get all these in life.
Kaliyadha kalviyum ( Education that sees no break )
kuraiyadha vayadhum ( Age that does not increase )
Or kapadu vaaradha natpum ( Friendship that has honesty , integrity )
kanradha valamaiyum ( Prosperity that does not decrease )
Kundradha ilamaiyum ( Youth that does not wane )
Kazhu pini iladha udalum ( Body that is free from health problems )
Saliyadha manamum ( A mind that knows no fatigue )
Anbu agaladha manaiviyum ( Wife who is ever affectionate )
Thavaradha santhanmum ( Children who do not falter in life )
Thazhadha keethiyum ( Fame that does not diminish )
Maaradha vaarthaiyum ( Promises that are not broken )
Thadaigal vaaradha kodaiyum ( Charity that sees no obstacles )
Tholaiyadha nidhiyamum ( Wealth that is not lost )
Konadha kolum ( Ruler who is just )
Oru thumbam iladha vaazhvum ( A life without any pain )
Thuyya nin paadhil ( At your pure Feet )
Anbum udhavi ( Love and affection , we get )
Peri thondarodu kootu kandai ( and association of your great devotees )
Alai yazhi ( In the  deep ocean with waves )
Ari thuyilum ( On the Serpent , sleeps )
Mayanadhu thangaiye ( Vishnu , You are his Sister )
Adhikadavurin vazhve ( You live in  Adhikadavur )
Amudheesan orupagam agaladha ( You are for ever part of Lord Shiva )
Sukhapani ( Your Blessing Hands )
Arulvami ( Bless us )
Abhiramiye ( Goddess Abhirami  |)
This video 👉 Abhirami Padhigam has a few stanzas also from Abhirami Padhigam .  The English translation is given below English  subtitles are also given in the video

   ( Giver of all wealth )
   (Daughter of  King of  Himalayas)
 ( Great Goddess ,  steadfastly , daily )
   for  Devotees who pray  )
   ( You are very much compassionate ) , ( In this world / life )
   ( Health , education )
   (Wealth , food grains )
    ( Beauty , popularity )
    (Fame , youth )
   ( Intelligence , good children )
   ( Strength , courage)
 ( Longevity  ,   victorious )
 ( Good destiny , good experiences )
 ( when added )
 ( Give these sixteen blessings )
 ( You give a life with comforts and happiness )
  ( You possess a character of giving , granting boons )
 ( You offer protection )
 ( You are always Favourable )
 ( Holder of Trident )
 ( You are Auspicious , Great , Magnificent )
 ( I am your child,  You are The Mother )
( Can you not give all these )
 ( Ever increasing fame )
 ( You live in Thirukadavur )
 ( Highly auspicious )
 ( with Famous Name )
  ( You are the One )
 ( Giver of happiness )
 ( Goddess Abhirami or  pleasing  )
 ( Goddess Uma !)
Such beautiful lines and  divine singing !
Navratri aarti song in Telugu
For any festival in our home , we have a combination of Tamil , Kannada and Telugu songs .  Telugu and Kannada songs I learnt from my mother .  From my mother-in-law I learnt Tamil and Marathi songs. The main kannada song we sing for Navratri and Varlakshmi Vratham is Bhagyadha Lakshmi Baramma.We offer aarthi by singing 
Mutyala aarthi ( Aarti with pearls ) , Pagadala aarti  ( aarti with corals ) , manicka aarti ( aarti with rubies )  .  The video is given 👉 Harathi song in Telugu 


After nine days , the khalasam is moved slightly on the ninth night , a few dolls are also moved .  The golu is removed and the dolls are stored the next day.
Navratri gift ideas
The most important gift is the thamboolam offered to ladies.  Now we can also offer some home made gifts for ladies who come for thamboolam .  If it is not possible to invite on all days we can invite on Navratri Friday .  Some silk thread bangles I made for gifts.  In my spare time I invariably make some crafts like bangles , jewellery , kundan rangoli that I offer as gifts for guests who visit our house for festivals like Navratri, Varalakshmi Vratham.

 Paal poli - Navratri Naivedyam recipe for Friday
   Rava or maida is kneaded into a dough as shown.  The dough is beaten by a rolling pin to make it soft and pliable .  Finally the dough does not appear as if it is made from rava or maida.  It is flattened as we do for poori.  Using a fork pierce the flattened dough at a few places.  This will ensure that the air escapes when it is fried and poori does not become  fluffy.  We need a flat poori for this poli.
Boil milk with sugar , saffron and cardamom powder so that the milk becomes somewhat dense.
Immerse the pooris in the milk.  After few minutes take them out and decorated with cashew and almond pieces .                            
Paal poli with rava or maida
Milk poli naivedyam
A simple lamp or deepam design that can be drawn on both sides of the golu or kolu.  This kolam has been shared elsewhere also in Rangolisansdots.  I thought it is relevant here so I have added here as well.
A simple padi kolam / geethala muggulu / rangoli with lines 
For Navratri Friday and other festivals , functions , for the Puja room , for Tulsi plant this is the rangoli drawn in our family .  After completing decorate with a kaavi border.
Navarathri Friday kolam - Pooja padi kolam

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