Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Navratri Kolu

There is a major festival for Indians this week called Navratri. Navratri means nine nights. This festival is celebrated over a period of nine days, which is why it is called Navratri. According to the epic story, there was a fight between the goddess Durga and the demon Mahishauran which lasted for nine days, and ended with Durga eventually vaniquishing her foe. The ninth day is called Vijayadasam, celebrating the victory of good over evil.
Navratri is also a cultural and social festival in India, especially in the state of Tamilnadu, India. During this time, idols of gods and goddesses and mythological characters are arranged in a step-like setting called Kolu. Kolu is the essence and spirit of Navratri. During this time, friends, relatives and neighbors are invited to view and enjoy the Kolu. When people come to see the Kolu, the hostess offers Thambulum, a welcoming gift.
Yesterday I was invited to my friend Kowsalya Mohana's house to view Kolu. Every year I am amazed by the gorgeous display. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including gluten free recipes), please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

I am joining Susan's Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
and Artie for Vignette Fridays at Color Outside The Lines.


  1. Wow, that is beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. This is amazing. thanks so much for sharing.

  3. What a neat custom! I'll have to Google Navratri and learn even more about it.

  4. Thank you for such an interesting lesson on this Indian holiday! Your friend's Kolu is fascinating and amazing!

  5. Hi Komali,
    that looks very interesting. It is difficult for us and especially very confusing with all the Indian gods and goddesses and mythological characters. But we in Germany have also idols of some holy people and we make a display with them at Christmas. Our nativity figurines are often carved from wood, sometimes from porcelain or something else. Some of them are also dressed with real fabric. Thats very similar to your idols but of course the look is very different. Thank you for sharing some of your very interesting culture. I enjoy this always very much.
    Greetings, Johanna

  6. Thank you for the interesting introduction to Navrati. I can imagine that celebrating for nine nights leaves you proud but exhausted. Thank you for sharing your vignettes with us. Cherry Kay