Durga Puja and Navrati
Durga – Puja is an auspicious and important festival of the Indian people especially Bengali community, also known as “Durgotsava”.The word “Durga” means – “one who eliminates sufferings and evils from human and nature”. According to the Hindu mythology, Durga- Puja is a worship of “Shakti” to win over bad habits and deeds. “Shakti” which is basically of nine incarnation and known by different names-Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandhamata, Kaatyani, Kalaratri, MahaGauri, Siddhidatri. During this period of nine days, each of nine days is dedicated to each unique incarnation or avatars of shakti, and hence it is called “Navratri”.
At present ‘ Navrati’ is celebrated across India with great dedication and devotion. People from different castes and creeds participate and enjoy colorfully. On this occasion “Pandals” are established at various parts of the city to establish Durga statue and Garba circles. Women wear traditional dress such as colorful embroidered choli – ghagra, which is the traditional Guajarati attire, dazzling with mirror work and heavy jewelry, whereas men wear special turbans and kedias, but can differ from area to area. The dhol, a round pilliow resembling musical instrument, is used as well as instruments such as nagara, potdrum, ektaro, pavo, murli, turi and tuturi are used. The folk dance known as dandiya, garba and garba-raas are performed around Durga idols in closed circles. Garba dance is basically a dance which involves dancing steps with clapping hands or dandiya (bamboo stick), rhythmically while going round the goddess Durga. Garba is the traditional and fascinating women’s dance. The rhythm is played by Dholi (or Drummer) throughout the nine nights of Navaratri. On celebration of this great puja – schools and colleges remain closed. This social event attracts not only Indian people but also tourist from around the world.