The festival of dolls | Milaap

The festival of dolls

At the beginning of August, the festival season starts in India. Navratri is one such auspicious festival in entire India. Called by different names like Dussara, Dussehra, Navratri, and others.

The Navratri festival is celebrated in a unique manner by a certain communities in South India. In Tamil Nadu "Golu" is a prominent way of celebrating. The Golu in Tamil translates to "display of dolls" in English. The dolls are arranged in a stepwise manner.

The dolls are arranged before the beginning of the first day of Navratri, which counts to Amavasya in the Hindu calendar. The arrangement is staged in a manner so as to depict the scenes from the popular stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krishna Leela, etc.

Ravana court scene from Ramayana 

Festival of life 
It is believed that the dolls get lives at the beginning of Navratri. The festival is also a symbol of life. Some even keep sprouts and other growing things to depict life and growth.

 Life forms and sprouts depicting the growth

Festival of diversity 
The Golus is also secular. They symbolize the people, animals, country, culture and daily activities. This keeps reminding us of the unity and diversity of our country.

Fruit sellers, women of different states and a procession 

Festival of daughters 
The dolls are mostly taken care of by the ladies of the home. It is mostly a tradition to keep the dolls at home where there are daughters. The ladies set the dolls up, call the neighbouring ladies, present them with gifts. In some of the households, certain dolls are sent along with daughter when she gets married and moves to husband's home. The tradition continues there at her place with her collecting more every year and celebrating the daughterhood.

Festival of meetup
The nine days of Navratri bring together relatives and neighbours. The Golu keeping families invite many families to their homes. All the people meet up together to talk heartily. Each day of Navratri, at least a type of "Sundal" is made and served. Sundal is a dish made of Chickpea. The festival bonds the families together.

Festival of dolls
Festival "Golu" I found it to be very interesting. Like the way they are showcased, they talk about the very simple things of our lives. The real unity, diversity, and harmony of our country, the way our tradition lives from generation to generation, the prominence and celebrating our daughters. Overall it depicts the culture of our country or the very us!