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Friday, September 30, 2011

Navratri Festivals - September 28 To October 6,2011

'Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night'. Thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'.It is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindu calendar, it holds special significance for Gujratis and Bengalis.
The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Her various incarnations - Kumari, Parvati and Kali - are worshipped during these days. They represent the three different classes of womanhood that include the child, the young girl and the mature woman.

Devotees bring in the Goddess Durga's idol through a procession on the first day of the Navratri festival

Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl.

Last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati (Goddess Of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan.

Navratri Festival in Gujarat

Garba Dance
The Garba of Gujarat is the most popular women's folk dance of Gujarat. During Navratri, a pot is ceremoniously placed attractive designs are made on the pot and a light is placed inside. Village girls bearing pots (garbis) on their heads go from door to door and dance around the respective house.
The leader of the group sings the first line of the song while the rest repeat it in chorus, the beat being produced clapping hands or striking sticks in unison. At every step they gracefully bend sideways, the arms coming together in beautiful sweeping gestures, up and down, left and right, each movement ending in clap.
The Garba is indeed a ceremony in which everyone can take part irrespective of caste or social position.

Devotees perform the Garba dance at the "Umiya Mata Temple" on the 8th Night of Navratri in Surat, about 270 kilometers (169 miles) south of Ahmadabad, India. Umiya Mata is the deity worshipped by Kadwa Patidar Hindus across the world - October4,2011

Rasa Dance
The Rasa dances are performed only by men and are often complex circular formations to represent designs of lotus and other designs considered magical religious and auspicious.

Navratri(Durga Puja) Festival in Kolkata

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