Navrathri Gollu ideas and Neivedhyam Recipes

Navarathri is a special festival to worship all the Devis. In south India, during Navrathri Bommai Golu dolls are kept on steps and all ladies are invited for taking thambulam

During this festival, girls are dressed up in traditional dress like pattu pavadai, Pavadai thavani, pattu puduvai and go to all house for inviting them to come and see their gollu :). 

Gollu is not only famous in India, those who are staying abroad also showing equal interest in keeping Gollu dolls. My Sister-in-law who lives in US celebrates her Gollu in a grand manner. She invites all her friends on weekends and prepares a big feast along with sundal.
My special thanks to my SIL Divya and my Cousin Dharini for the Useful tips and inputs that they gave me for the first timers who are keeping gollu in abroad as well.

Preparations for Navarathri:

1) First and foremost is arranging the steps or padi. If you are in India, you get ready made steel steps. Some prefer to use suitcase or cardboard boxes to make steps if you are going for small gollus. If you are in abroad you can make wooden steps for big gollus and if you are going for small one you can use Diaper boxes to make gollu. Don't forget to lend help from your husband to make the steps:).

2) You can use Veshtti  to cover padi also use your silk sarees for border or for backdrop.

3) If you are staying abroad, better way to invite is Einvite or Whatsapp. It is better to invite at least 3 weeks earlier. Generally they prefer to invite every one during weekends and make a Lunch or Dinner along with Sundal because they drive far to come to your house. In India you can go personally to your neighbours house and invite also phone calls or whatsapp for those who are not near. 

4) For Thamboolam, things to buy are Beetle leaves (Vethalai), Manjal, paakku, poo, pazham, Coconut (thengai) and return gifts.

Recipes to cook:

If you have called your friends for weekend Lunch or dinner these recipes will be easy to cook. Remember to cook NO ONION NO GARLIC food during Navrathri days. The menus that my SIL and cousin shared are

1) Idli Sambar

2) Upma
3) Sevai
4) Sundal
5) Capsicum Rice
6) Veg pulao
7) Curd Rice

Navarathri Rules and regulations:

1) Kalasam is very important also first one to keep on padi . Apply turmeric and Kugumam to Kalasam then add Raw rice, Toor dal, Jaggery, Maavilai kothu, Coconut or Pomegranate to Kalasam and keep it in Pooja room first then keep it on steps. 

2) After keeping Kalasam, you can start with golu dolls. You can keep idols in padi/steps and make separate park at the bottom level. Encourage your kids to do the park to make them involve and also to enhance their creativity. Nowadays theme kollus are becoming famous like Mahabaratha, Ramayana, Dasavatharam, Marraige, Eco friendly awareness etc. Choose your theme and display dolls accordingly.

3) Every year one new doll is bought in addition to the old ones. Whenever we visit gollu, they used to tell us the doll that was bought newly for this year gollu. If you are staying in Chennai, you can buy gollu dolls from Mylapore, Kuralagam T nagar. In Bangalore, you get dolls in Malleswaram, Jaynagar. If you are in US, you can get dolls from Indian store, or you can get your relatives to buy dolls from chennai and courier them.

4) The Neivedyam to be prepared according to the days.

Monday: Karamani
Tuesday: Appam/ mochai
Wednesday: Payaru/payatham paruppu
Thurday: Kondakadalai
Friday: Puttu
Saturday: Ellu podi/Ellu urundai
Sunday : Pattani

5) For Saraswathi pooja we keep all books in front of god and do pooja. Next day is vijayadasami, we do pooja and take the books and read few lines also make dolls lie down on steps in the evening after neivedyam. 

6) Next day to Vijayadasami, you can take the dolls from steps. If it comes to be tuesday or friday skip that day and take the dolls next day. After taking all dolls finally take the kalasam out and use the ingredients to make payasam.

Return Gift Ideas:

1) Scented Candles,

2) Earrings
3) Bowls (stainless steel, plastic etc)
4) Kundan or Glitter rangoli
5) Kunguma simizh or kumkum holder.
6) Small wall hangings
7) Photo frames

Navarathri dolls and decorative Ideas:

Here I will share some useful tips that I got from my friends and read from the magazines.

1) If you are interested in preparing your own return gifst, here are some ideas 

----Handmade Book marks are best return gift, for DIY procedure Click here
----Quilled jhumkas using Quilling strips. For procedure, click here
----Simple Handmade beads earrings, for steps click here
Other gifts that you can make on your own are Painted Diyas, Quilled candle holder, Kundan Rangoli, Teracotta earrings.

2) You can use disposable paper cups to make table chairs for park, Paint satin ribbons and use as border for steps/padis, dry the grated coconut and add green colour to use as lawn in park, Use OHP sheets to make rangolis or Maavilai thoranam, Use satin ribbons to make small garlands for Idols, Use old cardbord and thengai naaru to make hut and for well you can use PVC pipe or card board rings, Use popsicle sticks as fence, decorate old CDs with glitters and make it as rangoli, You can use blue colour rangoli powder for sea, etc

3) The types of dolls that are kept for gollu are Mud dolls, paper mache dolls wooden dolls. If you are interested, you can make or ask your children to make small dolls out of play dough to keep in gollu.

4) You can use paper garlands, colour papers satin roses to decorate padi and the room.

Navarathri special Sundal variates:

1) Green Chickpeas sundal (Karnataka special)

2) Kondakadalai Sundal
3) Verkadalai sundal
4) Pachai mochai sundal (Karnataka Special)
5) Rajma Sundal
6) Pasi payaru sundal
7) Mochai Sundal
8) Kollu sundal
9) Payathamparuppu sundal
10) Karuppu kondakadalai sundal
11) Pattani sundal

Sarawathi pooja and Vijayadasami recipes:

1) Mor kuzhambu or Sambar

2) Ulundu Vadai or Paruppu vadai
3) Rasam
4) Payasam
5) Appalam
6) Curd Rice

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