navratri

Gujarat’s Navratri Festival, is “a circle of ecstasy” that throbs non-stop for nine nights with millions of fantastically costumed devotees swaying in a fusion of dance and devotion. Although this festival is celebrated throughout India, nowhere is it performed with more panache and fervor than in Gujarat.

The significance of Navratri is offering devotion to Goddess Amba (Durga), who is believed to exist in many forms. These Goddesses are believed to be known as “Shakti” as the tales narrate their power over killing of demons. Parvati, the wife of Shiva is said to have taken different forms of goddesses. Devotees perform the ‘devi-sthaapna’ in their homes wherein they invite the Goddess and perform ‘pooja-path’ for nine days with fasting.

The nine days of Navratri are also an opportunity to rejoice in the three primeval qualities that make up the universe. Human life is governed by the three gunas and Navratri festival gives an opportunity to recognize and reflect values over it. The first three days of Navaratri are attributed to tamo guna (it leads to depression, fear and emotional instability) the second three to rajo guna (this leads to anxiety and feverishness) and the last three days to sattva guna (when Sattva dominates then we are clear, focused, peaceful and dynamic). Human consciousness sails through the tamo and rajo gunas and blossoms in the sattva guna of the last three days. The three primeval gunas are considered as the feminine force of our magnificent universe. By worshiping the Mother Divine Ambaji Mata (Durga Mata) during Navaratri, we harmonise the three gunas and elevate sattva in the atmosphere. Whenever sattva dominates in life, victory follows. The essence of this knowledge is honoured by celebrating the tenth day as Vijaydashmi.

The festival is enjoyed by all communities, all age groups and in all cities in Gujarat. People all over the world come to Gujarat especially to enjoy this traditional and religious festival.

The word Garbo or Garaba has originated from Sanskrit word “Garbhdeep”- an earthen pot with circular holes is popularly known as Garbo. The earthen pot is symbol of human body and the lighten lamp inside signifies the divine soul.

Religion is a holistic approach. Significance of the deities pointing the need for deriving solutions to problems and as believed, Durga triumphs over evil, Saraswati removes ignorance and Lakshmi brings prosperity.

Dating back to the ancient era of Krishna, singing and dancing with ‘Flute’ and other Instruments with the dance forms like Garba, Garbi and Raas is the most popular Dance celebrations during Navratri in Gujarat.

A legendary unique Folk Dance form also has variations with Dandia or stick Raas.There are different styles of executing dandiya steps like Dodhiyu, simple five, simple seven, popatiyu, Trikoniya (hand movement which forms an imagery triangle), Lehree, three claps, butterfly, hudo, two claps and many more.

Every year, Navratri festival brings in innovations in music, choreography, and costumes and has enthralled audience with its beauty and cultural tradition.