Pattu pavadai, rettai jadai, mullaippoo, vethalai-pakku-kunkumam, sundal, akanda deepam, maa vilakku and last but not the least, kolu - you know what I am talking about.
This festival has so many benefits - some dedicated time for the God(desse)s, a great opportunity for socializing, eating different kinds of proteins, fund raising for craftsmen, fun for kids and so on. I am 100% sure that this generation is missing all the fun that we had during our childhood days around this event.
Interestingly Halloween day(Oct 31st) is observed in somewhat similar manner - kids dress up and get to visit neighbors and friends and collect candies. For more details wikipedia can help.(after all there was a mention of marappachi bommai when I read about kolu!)
Back in India, when we get to visit friends and relatives for kolu, we would be asked to sing. And songs on Lakshmi / Parvathi / Saraswathi would be sung commemorating the worship of these Goddesses for the nine days. Just found out the best song for Kolu - it praises all of these Supremos - "Om Sakthi Om" of Mahakavi.
Now, the fun part - a friend's son asked "amma Devi enge, Andal enge?" when she showed him Rama and Krishna idols. The message is passed on. Hope Devi and Andal will make it for next year's kolu :))