Navarathri, literally meaning the nine-night festival of India, is celebrated every year during the month of October, with devotion at its extreme. The legend associated with this colorful festival has regional variations and hence the name varies with regions. In Kerala, the southern most part of India; it is Saraswathi Pooja, which pays tribute to the Goddess of Knowledge.
During Navarathri, the Hindu community in Kerala performs Poojavaipu, a ceremony held at households and also in temples. The ritual involves placing of books and pens meant for learning, holy books and working tools and equipment before an image or idol of Goddess Saraswathi. Bommai Kolu, a practice followed by Tamil Brahmins residing in Kerala, is a major attraction during the festival and it involves placing of the idols of Hindu deities along with several dolls made out of clay and wood. People visit each other’s houses and sing classical music compositions before the Kolu arrangements. Gifts are also given.