Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Literally translating to ‘nine nights’, Navratri is the Hindu festival celebrating Goddess Shakti. It is one of the most important festivals in Gujarat. All the nine nights are marked with pujas and, of course, the ‘ras garba’, the iconic dance where the entire community comes together.
The celebrations and rituals of Navratri
The celebrations differ according to various states. In Gujarat, women across all communities fast for all nine days of Navratri.
However, the best celebration of Navratri takes place in Ahmedabad where the entire city comes alive in the form of a dance festival. People celebrate the festival in large communities, often having dandiya or garba dance in common grounds or ‘mandalis’. Traditionally, the garba or dandiya was performed to acoustic music but today dandiya music has become a genre of its own with lively beats. Dancers sometimes also use two dandiya sticks and perform traditional steps where they move in large circles with swift movements.
Preparation for Navratri
The Navratri festival is a colourful affair and people spend weeks in preparing for the events. Everyone sports traditional dresses in bright colours and adorned with glittering details that catch the eye. The women wear a chaniya choli while the men wear a kediyu and kafni.
Food is also a big factor during this festival and people gorge on Gujrati delicacies like Fafdas, Jalebis and Dhoklas. Tickets to these events are sold much in advance and enthusiasts book their tickets and hotels in Ahmedabad way ahead to enjoy the festivities.
Celebration of Navratri in 2017
This year Navratri will be celebrated from 21st September going on up to 29th September and Dussehra will be celebrated on 30th September. Several communities and hotels have Navratri celebrations and all visitors to Gujarat can experience this euphoric event.