Significance of Kolu Dolls in Tamil Nadu

Navratri is celebrated all over India and devotees worship Divine Mother. It is celebrated in different parts of India like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka by creating dolls as gods, goddesses, animals, children, and men, etc.

The devotees in Tamil Nadu believe that Bommai Golu or Kolu depicts the presence of God.

Festivals are the best time to enjoy and have fun with your closed ones.  Out of the many festivals celebrated in India, Navratri is among the common festival that continues for 10 days and 9 nights and devotees worship Goddess Durga during Navratri.

Golu or Kolu dolls for the Navratri festival is a dolls festival that is celebrated in Tamil Nadu with great enthusiasm. The festival is known as Bommai Golu in Tamil Nadu.

Here let us know more about the significance of Kolu dolls for the Navratri festival.

Navaratri Kolu has its significance during Navaratri where dolls of different size shapes and colors are made.

These dolls are made using clay, fruits and vegetables are made of wax to be displayed. The Golu Bommai dolls are arranged in different sections. They are displayed in different sections like Park, school, zoo, etc. Also, Prasad is offered for the coming 9 days as a part of prayers during Navaratri.

Many dolls are passed on from generation to generation as a family legacy. These Kolu dolls for Navaratri are eco-friendly clay dolls that are displayed during Navratri. They are then packed and stored for the next Navratri festival. This cycle goes on and it symbolizes the life & death cycle.

After the basic tasks are done, the grass is grown which runs through Golu. Ideally, people use mustard seeds to grow mini lawns, forests, and weeds. It helps grow a lush garden.

Women also invite their neighbor to see their Golu placement. Gifts and sweets are exchanged. Women make beautiful rangoli and lit oil lamps in the middle of Golu placement. The devotees perform puja and food items prepared at home are offered to the Goddess and then distributed to the family members and guests.

Bommai Golu

Kolu Dolls are showcased during Bommai Golu and they include celestial beings, characters from mythology and Hindu religion. For example saints, poets, freedom fighters, etc.

In Tamil Nadu, ‘Marapacchi Bommai’ which is wooden figurines are given to the bride. This figurine represents the figure of a man and woman as a couple on the bride’s wedding day. It is a ritual that prevails in Tamil culture.  The bride takes the culture of Golu to her in-laws' place. The dolls represent fertility and prosperity and the bride has this wonderful Golu collection with her.

So, if you are planning to shop for the Kolu dolls online then you will find it in common online pooja accessories stores online.

Addition of one Kolu doll a year

According to the rituals, one new doll is to be added to the Kolu doll collection a year. Ideally, these Navarathri golu rules in Tamil Culture are not followed properly to add one new doll which can be big or small to the collection each year. This tradition helps keep the craft alive and ensures a steady income to the craftsmen.

Ideally, the dolls that are broken or faded are not meant to be placed in golus. This is because gods always portray peace, prosperity and good health. Some people do not follow the rule and repaint the dolls or accessorize the broken dolls with jewelry or mend them.

Well, some traditions need to be followed for the placement of the Kolu dolls.

You can keep the dolls in 9 steps as there is the significance of 9 in Navratri.  The steps number should be 3, 5, 7, etc and should not go beyond 9 steps.

A cloth is used to cover the steps where the dolls are to be placed. Ideally, a white cloth is used to cover the steps.

Traditionally, natural materials like wood, terracotta, wood, cloth, plant fibers are used to make kolu/golu figurines. They are painted using natural dyes and different colors.

Certainly, the craft and method and the art differ with each local market. The significance of Kolu dolls would continue for years and generations to come.