This festival is celebrated in different ways in different parts of India.
The farming communities also worship Durga who invoke her
blessings because this festival coincides with the period of rest and leisure after their
strenuous work in the fields. The farmers with her blessings wait with tremendous hopes
for a bountiful harvest.
In eastern India the Durga Pooja festival which is part of
Navaratri, is the principal festival and is celebrated with gaiety and devotion through
public ceremonies (Sarvajanik of Sarbojanin Durga Puja). For these ceremonies Pundals
(temporary public booths) are erected. The ceremonies are conducted amidst grand prayers
and mass feeding.,
southern India celebrations constitute a display of images of various gods and toys at
home for nine days. In northern India, on the tenth day (Dassera) giant effigies of
Ravana. Kumbhakarna and Meghnad (Lord Rama's enemies), are publicly burnt.
The Garba Dance dance in western India is performed around a pot containing a lamp. The
word "Garba" by which the pot as well as the dance is known is etymologically
close to the word Garba meaning womb. In this context the lamp in the pot, symbolically
represent life within a womb. Another prevalent practice is of sowing pulses, cereals and
other seeds on the first day of this festival in a pot, which is watered for nine days at
the end of which the seeds sprout. This pot is worshipped throughout the nine days. This
custom is also indicative of fertility worship. The dances start after 10 p.m. and many a
times they continue up to the small hours of the morning.
Raas parties are organized in great gala in many of the clubs, homes, hotels and
organizations. It is more a social event and meant purely for celebrating the fun
part of the festival of Navratri. Many organizations invite famous "Bollywood"
stars and make the vent ...eventful. There are special bands that play music especially
for this event.
Organizing "garba" or "dandia" dances here in the US
hindu temples and/or homes is becoming very popular by the many Indo-American Cultural
Societies. It is a great way to bring culture and parties together.
India, it's the most looked forward to event for the young as they can dance all night
long and show off their Indian outfits and accessories. Dressed in exquisitely
embroidered, set in mirrors 'Choli', 'Ghagra' and 'Bandhani' dupattas the women adorn
themselves with beautiful jewelry including anklets. Men dress in formal as well as
informal Chudidar Kurta. Garba is a dance danced in a circle, by clapping your hands on a
very catchy rhythmic tune.
"Dandias" is the same
dance with 2 sticks held in the hand