Navaratri

Navaratri is a time when many homes in the southern states of India—parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala—feast on colors, light, music, and food. Visitors are greeted with gleaming dolls, colorful Kolam (Rangoli; that is, floor decoration), lighted lamps, and traditionally dressed women and girls chanting slokas and singing. Traditionally, all family members participate in creating the durbar or assembly of Goddess Durga, which contains a multitude of idols of gods, goddesses, men, animals, and businessmen. This is presented in every house in the form of Golu. It is a festive occasion where everyone has a role to play, from the young children to the grandparents.Bommai (Doll) Golu is the artistic display of dolls on numbered tiers or steps, usually made of wood. The nine steps represent the nine days of Navaratri. Traditionally, a few top steps include idols of gods and a kalash (ceremonial jar) with fresh water, covered with a coconut and mango leaves. The next few steps have idols of saints and heroes of the country. Another step represents human activities, depicting functions such as marriage, temples, and an orchestra or music band. Business is usually represented by the Chettiar set of dolls, with shop items and wooden dolls called Marapachi dressed in colorful clothes. Today, Golu has the thematic representation of ancient stories, depicting scenes from Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita, among others. It is a custom to add a few new dolls every year.Children recite slokas, sing songs and eat special dishes offered to the gods, especially the protein-rich dish called sundal (which is made of legumes) with some sweets and fruits. Women exchange betel leaves, betel nuts, coconuts, fruits, flowers, bangles, turmeric, and kumkum.

( Source: The Art of living website)

Thank you Suhasini Ekkad for the information