Navratri is a Hindu festival, celebrated for nine nights and ten days. As the name suggests, Nav- nine and Ratri- night. It is a festival dedicated to Goddess Durga and for these nine days people worship the goddess. The tenth day is commonly celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dusshera.
This festival is celebrated all over India with great devotion and enthusiasm. Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore also celebrate this festival. Navratri is celebrated twice a year and these days are considered to be very auspicious and divine. The first three days are devoted to Maa Durga, the next three to Maa Laxmi and the last three for Maa Saraswati.
All the nine days of Navratri have fixed colours that people need to wear. The first day begins with the colour orange .To represent brightness, happiness and energy, one should wear the colour orange on this day. The following days have the colours – white, red, royal blue, yellow, green, grey, purple and peacock green. Each colour has it’s own significance.
Navratri has it’s origin from Gujarat and the Gujarati community celebrates this festival with pomp and show. They perform Dandiya and Garba. Dandiya is a dance form that is performed with the help of wooden sticks, in Hindi these sticks are called dandis and hence the dance form gets the name Dandiya. Garba is also a dance form that originates from Gujarat where people clap their hands and this is performed in a circle.
In Goa, Navratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm at various halls and temples all over the state. The best celebration of Navratri takes place at the Taleigao Community Centre hall. Anushka Sharma, a resident of Panaji says: “I eagerly wait for Navratri as it is my favorite time of the year. My friends and I visit the hall every year for all the nine days and celebrate the festival by dancing.”
This festival is most awaited by the entire Gujarati community as it is one of their biggest festivals. Along with them all the others wait for it too as a lot of fun and enjoyment is involved in this festival.
“The entire family comes together for the preparations and celebrations and this festival brings a lot of joy to our lives. I have been witnessing the festival since the time I was five. I still remember my mother used to bring decorated dandiya sticks for me and I used to get so happy looking at them,” says Jash Bhat.
(Writer is a Mass Communication and Journalism student at St Xavier’s College, Mapusa)