2020 has been a disastrous year of the 21st century, leaving behind a scar in the hearts of every human being during this pandemic. We have always proved to be very good fighters in such situations and especially Indians who have responsibly handled the situation are now taking a breather from the lockdown which is now being relaxed.
Welcoming this relaxation in the lockdown and hoping things would get better we have already seen people stepping out to work and preparations to celebrate this auspicious month of October 2020 is on the cards. Many festivals could not be celebrated from March 2020 till date however we are hoping that we could celebrate the festival of Navarathri in the south and Dusherra in the North. A festival that can easily be connected to the current situation where in devotees seek the victory of Goddess Durga who fought the asuras and demons over 9 days and defeated them.
In the Southern part of India this festival is celebrated with a display of the Bommai or Bomma Golu or Kolu. This celebration is called the Bommai Kolu in Tamil Nadu meaning Dolls display, whereas in Karnataka it is called as the Gombe Habba which means display of dolls and in Andhra and Telangana it is called the Bommala Koluvu which means the same display of dolls and figurines.
This is a very old tradition and custom followed by the hindus to display Dolls & Figurines on a 3 step or up to 9 step Golu padi which has dolls that depict their day to day activities, in the very old years we have dolls of peasants, cows, bulls, carts, weavers, wood cutters and dolls were made by neighbourhood artists who make them out of clay and paint them in bright colours that indicate their local cultural dresses and also a festive mood. In the midst of all these dolls & figurines small idols of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswathi & Parvathi would be placed to mark the significance of the role played by their gods in their daily lives. Idols & figurines of Lord Ganesha & other goddesses too are placed.
In the modern days many dolls have come up according to the work people do, like Doctors, Engineers, Pilot and recently we have witnessed, spacecrafts, Astronauts and Space scientists too but the goddess’ have never changed. This Golu or Kolu Padi will tell the story of what happens in the family and also what is going to take place like a wedding, or purchasing of land or building of new home or buying cattle and so on and all the blessings is believed to be received from their deities. The Navaratri or Dusherra festival is always celebrated during the autumn season and this festival has a lot of connections to handicrafts professionals and farmers. Socializing was also one of the major part of this festival where in people would visit each other’s house, exchange stories and enjoy sweets & meals together as one family.
In the modern days the significance has not changed but lots of inclusions and modernization can be seen. The Golu steps are made out of materials that can last long so that they don’t have to spend money on it every year, likewise there are multi-purpose stands that can be used as a Golu stand during the festival and on the other days it can be used as a display stand with gods or goddesses place on it or it can be easily dismantled and kept away. Golu Stands come in different materials like wood, iron, casting iron, plastic and acrylic material too. Golu Stands are often sold in easy to dismantle and keep it safe for the following years or it also comes with options to use as a display stand or mini-pooja steps with gods and goddesses placed on them.
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