Navaratri literally means nine nights and they are the golden days and nights for the people who celebrate Navaratri festival. The Navaratri festival is dedicated to Devi the mother of the universe and these 9 nights have been divided amongsts the three main goddesses Durga / Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswathy.
There will be a symbolic representation of the 10 forms of Devi and the triumph of good over evil. These forms are also known as 'Alankaram' for the deity at the Temples.
The form for the day is chosen as per the astrological star of each day, in accordance with the lunar calendar.
The forms of the symbolic representations are;
Sri Swarna kavachalakrutha Durga Devi
Sri Bala Tripurasundari Devi
Sri Annapurneswari Devi
Sri Gayatri Devi
Sri Lalitha Tripura sundari Devi
Sri Saraswati Devi
Sri Mahalakshmi Devi
Sri Durga Devi
Sri Mahishasura Mardhini Devi
Sri Rajarajeswari Devi
Golu at Homes in Tamilnadu
In South India and that too particularly in Tamil nadu, Navaratri festival gets celebrated with Kolu. The most interesting part is the setting up of the Kolu / Golu as it is known.
For the evening pooja offerings, different varieties of Sundal are made along with plantains, betel leaves nuts, agarbathis and Karpooram.
Thamboolam to Sumangalis
Women and girls, who are considered to be the incarnations of the mother goddess are invited and presented with Thamboolam ( Betel leaf, betelnuts, Turmeric plus Kumkumam along with a blouse piece at least). This can be done at the temples also if you are not keeping Golu at home.
For the Poojas in the evenings varieties of Sundals are made like,
and many more varieties are made along with Payasams and Sarkarai Pongal.