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Navratri Celebration Festival 2011

The period falls on the first nine days of the month of Ashvin according to the Hindu calendar and Navratri Calendar. Celebrated during the month of October, Navratri brings out the piety of Hindus all over. Navratri Dates 2011 fall on 8th October onwards.

Navratri Celebration

Know all About Navratri. The nine-day Navratri celebration is compartmentalized in certain parts of the country, dedicating three days each to a trinity of goddesses: to Durga the goddess of velour, to Lakshmi the goddess of wealth and to Saraswati the goddess of knowledge. On Lalita Panchami (the fifth day) it is customary to gather all the books within the house before a sacred lamp and invoke the blessings of Saraswati. 

It is also the occasion for all artisans to lay down their tools before the goddess and seek her benediction upon their trade. On the eighth and ninth day of the festival, yagnas or havens are performed in a final act of farewell that marks the termination of the ceremonies. The yagna is an act of sacrifice by which matters most precious and valuable to us are placed into the holy flames as an act of renunciation. Ghee or clarified butter, a sweet concoction of rice cooked in condensed milk (paayas or kheer) and sesame seeds are traditional items used in the havan.

Navratri Festival

The entire Navratri Festival ceremony is carried out with the chanting of mantras conveying the theme-“This is my offering to God”. The day following Navratri is hailed as Vijaya Dasami, more popularly known as Dussehra. In many of India's northern states, enormous effigies of Ravana stuffed with firecrackers are torched with flaming arrows to the delight of throngs of revelers. It is also valued by devotees as an auspicious occasion to start enterprise and for the business communities to open their annual books of account.

Men, women and children who have fasted during the day have a light repast of fruit or other non-cereals before traipsing out into the streets and lanes and public squares. There, to the beat and rhythm of drums, the harmonium, and cymbals, they dance and sing the age-old dandiya raas garbas and garbis.

Navratri Utsav

In some parts of the state, “groups” and “associations” that have been formed long before the Navratri Utsav, wind their way towards pre-selected temples or other public places. A pandal is erected wherever possible and decorated with arches of mango leaves, sweet smelling flowers, and sometimes by bead curtains and pieces of patchwork embroidery.

Navratri Songs

Navratri Songs are played with which the dancers move around in a circle, sometimes with different steps, in pairs or in groups around a lamp lighted to represent the Eternal Light of the Mother Goddess. In public squares, a garbi or mandvi (an ornate wooden, brass, silver of stainless steel frame), further decorated with shining tinsel and illuminated with dozens of little twinkling oil lamps is placed in the center. The dancers move round this garbi. The materials, size, design and splendour of the garbi depend on the amount of money donated by the people in the locality.

Men and children join the pageantry. The steps and movements of the garbas and garbis remain blissfully gentle, but the dandiya raas picks up in pace, as the night advances. It is past midnight, yet nothing but the occasion and the movement matters. But as the action packed hours whirl on, the dancers' steps begin to slacken, the musicians begin to miss their beats, the singing becomes a little muted. Smiling faces, happy faces, begin to be tinged with sadness. Rub your eyes, for just new lingering movements longer and Gujarat's unique festival of the nine nights, with its unalloyed joy and fervour, will be over.



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