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Wonderful Doll Festival (s): More Than One From Around the World

I realize and know that is more than one doll festival celebrated around the world. And since I love exploring parallels between celebrations around the world, when I find connections between them, it is like a eureka moment. And with this festival of Navratri – my favorite one to celebrate – when I found connections, it was like hitting the jackpot of eurekas!!

So let me take you on a journey to explore a few……..

Doll Festival (s) From Around the World

The Doll Festival of Southern India: Golu

Golu in the southern India states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Here is a glimpse of the golu at my home from a few years ago. And I promise to share about the festival as well as this year’s pics in a ‘coming-soon’ post!

Golu Navaratri Festival of Dolls

While this festival is from southern India, you might just find someone celebrating it in your corner of the world (wherever you may be). Like I am doing in the Bay Area in California! In addition, many Hindu temples across the world also keep a golu within the temple grounds/building; so check it out! You may be able to see it in person.

The Hinamatsuri Doll Festival, Japan

This doll festival has so many parallels with golu that I found it very fascinating. One, it is originally a girls festival (though over the years, and in current times both boys and girls celebrate it). Two, there are steps!! Three, the doll arrangement is done in a hierarchy, with the royal couple on the top tier, and so on till the common man in the bottom tiers. You can read more about it on the linked Wikipedia page.

Ph0kin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A Doll Festival of Sorts, From Spain: Falles or Fallas

The Fallas (also spelled Falles) festival in Valencia is grand, gargantuan, and gorgeous to my eyes!! The similarities here – they burn the doll(s) symbolically. This is just like the burning of the effigy of Ravana, the demon king, on the day of Vijayadashami (the tenth day of this festival) in northern India (and other parts as well). The burning of Ravana is to symbolize the victory of good over evil by a burning arrow released from someone enacting the role of Lord Rama (an avatar of Lord Vishnu).

The Las Fallas festival comes from the spring-cleaning practices of pre-Christian Iberian carpenters, who burnt the pieces of wood that were used to prop up their lights during the winter. Eventually, these wood pieces evolved into a competition for who would make the biggest bonfire; and over time, the carpenters started crafting wood pieces and papier-mâché into larger than life-size dolls.

The festival is celebrated annually to mark the arrival of spring (March 15th through the 19th). Read more about it here at Wikipedia.

Francesc Fort, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Not Really a Doll Festival, But You Could be Fooled!!

Most of us have run into a living statue somewhere or the other. And I know I have been fooled into thinking the statue was a statue until the very last minute resulting in, well, a scary WOW surprise!

Consider this one from Lisbon, Portugal

Staticman~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

World Living Statues Festival in Netherlands is an annual event (since 1996). Based on the calendar at their website, it looks like it is almost an ongoing festival across Netherlands, and you will be sure to find living statues somewhere in this beautiful nation no matter which time of the year you visit!

For example the below events list is from the official website in case you are planning to visit:

Friday 7 OctStatues by Night meet the ChampionsZaandam
Saturday Oct 8LIFE (the) STATUES & Kids StatuesZaandam
Saturday Oct 8Step peek in the dusterWesterbork
Sunday 9 OctParade of ChampionsArnhem
saturday 15 octStatues by Night meet the ChampionsAlkmaar
sunday 16 octWorld Championship & Kids StatuesAlkmaar

World Doll Day

And then there is World Doll Day

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, do you celebrate any of these wonderful doll festivals? Or have you been a part of it somehow? Do you have any similar festivals? If yes, do let me know so I can add that right here!

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