• Left: Navratri Golu; Right: a dancing couple featured in the golu (Supplied)Source: Supplied
During the Hindu festival of Navratri, Hindus in Southern India decorate their homes with doll displays. And boy do things get fancy!
Shami Sivasubramanian

7 Oct 2016 - 10:17 AM  UPDATED 7 Oct 2016 - 10:45 AM

The Hindu festival of Navratri is a nine-day long period which worships the Goddess of Prosperity in all her forms. The festival is celebrated amongst Hindus the world over. 

However, Hindus originating from the south of India celebrate Navratri in a rather unique way - with a big doll display.

Called golu (which means stairs or steps), each display is usually set up on an odd number of ascending wooden steps and feature dolls, statuettes, figurine, and themed dioramas. 

Of course, the steps hold a spiritual significance too. They are a metaphor for 'ascending towards enlightenment'. The top step features statuettes of deities and gods, while the lowest steps are covered with figures of animal and fruit. The middle layers usually depict scenes from daily life, like shopping, dancing, and just a having a good time. 

Arranging the dolls and figurines are usually a family affair that people filled with fun, a bit like decorating the Christmas tree in December. And people do not shy away from going all out! 

Check out some golu displays below:



Navarathiri 2008


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