Hey folks, it’s just a week left to loose the control on your feet and rock the dance floor. Yeah, you got me right. Navratri 2015 is approaching and being in Gujarat, we are all set to embrace the grace of Durga Shakti with Nav Durga Puja and do Garba in honor of Devi Durga. We call Devi Durga, Amba Mata here in Gujarat.
How Gujaratis Celebrate Navratri?
For the rest of the world, Navratri is going to start from 25th of September, 2014, but in Gujarat we can see celebrations and preparations right from the month of June. Garba classes across Gujarat starts from the month of June till the day of commencement of Navratri. Beauty parlors and Spa are full with appointments. Both guys and girls go for special treatments to look their best. You can see Navratri dresses and jewellery sold across the roads as well as markets.
It is so enchanting to see people dance with all the colorful traditional dresses on them. People from other states ask us, that you people continuously dance for 3 to 4 hours, sweat like anything, then you people wake up another morning, perform the regular chorus and again get ready for the evenings. Each and every day, you people dress up so heavily and dance, forgetting everything. What drives you? For a spiritual person like me, I will seek a spiritual sided reply that may be, it is the grace of positivity all around in the atmosphere. Vibrations, drum beats and the lovely Garba songs, which makes it difficult to handle to dance.
There are three forms of dance performed in Navratri. Garba, Dodhiya and Dandiya. All these are performed by standing in a circle and moving at the same time. Garba is simple dance steps which ar performed with foot movements and simple Taalis, ek Taali (one clap), be Taali (two claps) or three Taalis (three claps). This dance is performed on every auspicious occasion in Gujarat. Even in baarats, wedding procession, ladies performs this Garba. It is our practice to perform even a single round to honor maa Durga. This dance form is performed by ladies of all age groups. You will be surprised to see old aged ladies above 90 years too performing the art.
The second form is Dodhiya. Dodiya is a very interesting form of Gujarati folk dance. For having the hint of this dance form, you can very well refer to it with the song Lahoo muh lag gaya of movie Ram Leela.
Oh!, I couldn’t stop myself watching the video again and remembering the days of practice of Gujarati Garba and Dodhiya and believe me, it is very colorful, lighted and cheered when we see it on the grounds and streets, everywhere in Gujarat.
The third form is Dandiya in Gujarat. It is played with sticks and two partners standing opposite to each other and moving at the same time. There is also one more form in playing Dandiya in Gujarat. One is Kutchhi Dandiya and another is Dandiya of Gujarat. The enjoyment and excitement is worth watching too.
Just like the way, Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja, Gujaratis perform Puja throughout these nine days of Navratri. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi is also an ardent believer in Goddess Amba Mata and observes fast during the nine days of Navratri.
Same is the case with every Gujarati. All perform Puja, fast and many other rituals such as akhand Divo (continuously burning Diya, lamp with pure Ghee). This Diya should not be stopped till nine days, it is considered as inauspicious.
I will try to throw some more light in the coming days such as dressing, tattoos and jewellery in celebrations of Navratri 2014 in Gujarat. So keep reading.