Navarathri Golu, Bommai Kolu during Navaratri or Dasara is a customary ritual in Tamil Nadu and some parts of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. In 2013, Navarathri Bommail Golu starts on October 5 and ends on October 13 with Dasara festival.
It is an exhibition of various dolls and images in odd numbered rows and columns (padis). Generally, Navaratri dolls are arranged in 7 padis. This ritual is also known as Kolu or Bommai Kolu in Tamil Nadu and Kerala; Bombe Habba in Karnataka; and Bommala Koluvu in Andhra Pradesh.
It is customary to set at least some wooden dolls in Navratri golu.
Married women and girls visit others’ houses to see their Navaratri bommai golu. The hosts offer kumkuma, pasupu, and some other food offerings to the guests. Women decorate the place of Bommai kolu with Rangolis (muggulu or kolams) to welcome the Gods and Goddesses for this ritual.
In the evening, deepam (kuthuvilakku) is lit in the middle of the kolam and after chanting shlokas and prayers, special naivedyam (food offerings) are offered to the Goddesses.
Nowadays, Navratri bommai golu competitions are organized in each and every town in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and even in United States of America, Singapore, UK, and many other countries where South Indians live in large numbers.