Waves of colourful chaniyas (skirts) and clammers of chudiyan (bangles) are witnessed at the bright and perky festival of garba and dandiya raas. This year, Navratri will be celebrated from September 28 to October 6. Navratri was originally celebrated only by Gujaratis. Today, many youngsters across the country from all walks of life enjoy swinging to some traditional tunes like pankhida, o pankhida.
“I enjoy the music of this festival the most. It is so peppy and thrilling, it just makes you want to dance,” says graduate, Sanket Patel. Youngsters get tailored outfits to flaunt on all nine days.
“My kediyu (top) and dhoti come from Gujarat for Navratri. It is a crazy time. It is a great way to unwind, keep your sorrows away and dance your heart out,” says a student, Nishant K.V. For some youngsters, this festival is mainly about dolling up. The girls slip on their backless blouses with traditional mirror and shell work and jewellrry from head to toe. To go with the look, the girls paint dots of aalta on their palms and toes.
But there are many young Gujaratis that stay away from the concept of disco dandiya and stick with the displaying of the garbi and the daily aarti in their homes. “The morning aarti with my family and the evening aarti at the garba ground give me peace of mind and a positive aura,” says interior designer Arpita Dhruve. The garbi is a traditionally painted pot with a diya in it, placed for all nine days to keep evil away from their homes till the next Navratri after a year. The first three days of this festival are devoted to Goddess Durga. The next three are devoted to Goddess Lakshmi, the next two are for the worship of Saraswati and the last day is devoted to kanya puja where nine unmarried girls are worshipped.