October is my favorite time of the year. Not only is it the month of my birthday and Halloween (who doesn’t love a holiday about costumes and candy?!) but it is also when I get to go dancing for nine nights in a row. Yes, I am talking about Navratri!
I have always loved dancing in all it’s forms but Garba and Dandiya Raas, the two forms of folk dancing most common during Navratri, hold a special place in my heart.
Navratri is a 9 day Hindu festival dedicated to the Goddess Durga and all her incarnations. It is celebrated all across India, but in my biased opinion, Gujaratis (those from the Western state of Gujarat, like me!) celebrate it in the most fun way possible – with dance!
The word Garba comes from the Sanskrit word “garbh” for womb or pregnancy. Garba is danced in concentric circles around an image of the goddess Durga or a clay pot containing a candle flame symbolizing the life inside a womb. Even though I am not religious, I love the idea of celebrating the feminine energy. It really appeals to my feminist self!