Garba - Navaratri - Gujarat's famous dance
Garba is the most famous dance form of Gujarat. It is a circular form of dance carried out by women on the Navaratri, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami, Holi and similar other festivals. The word Garba is originated from 'Garbha Deep', denoting a lamp within a perforated earthen pot & indicating a new life. In this dance form, ladies place the pot with the lamp on their heads and sway in circles, keeping time by clapping or snapping of fingers, accompanied by folk instruments.
The main performance starts at night after the women complete their domestic duties. They assemble at street corners. A photograph of the deity or a lamp is placed centrally and a circle formed about it. Dancing gradually paces up. The rhythm is maintained by a Dholi (drummer).
During Garba, often, women bear on their heads a small canopy of bamboo chips shrouded with a red silk cloth known as 'Mandavali'. They dance with it and later put it in the center. Mandavali embodies the temple of the goddess.
Women attire themselves in Gujarati style sarees. Each community wears various clothes. In Saurashtra, women wear embroidered petticoats (Ghaghara), a backless choli (Kapdu) and a head cover (odhani) accessorised by silver and head ornaments. Males wear Kediyum (shirt), Vajani (trouser) and Rumal, a printed head piece with silver ornaments adorning their waist, neck and hands. The instruments accompanying the Garba are the drum (dhol) and Nal.
Garba songs usually eulogize the Mother Goddess Amba and invoke her blessings. Garbas also celebrate seasons and social issues.
Navaratri 2011 will start on 28th September, Wednesday and will continue for 9 days until 6th October, Thursday.
Navratri Day 1 – September 28, 2011 - Chandra Darshan(Ghatsthapana)
Navratri Day 2 – September 29, 2011
Navratri Day 3 – September 29, 2011 - Sindoor Tritiya
Navratri Day 4 – September 30, 2011 - Varad Vinayak Chaturthi
Navratri Day 5 – October 1, 2011 - Lalitha Panchami
Navratri Day 6 – October 2, 2011 - Saraswati Awahan in some regions
Navratri Day 7 – October 3, 2011 – Saraswathi Avahan - Maha Lakshmi Puja - Maha Saptami
Navratri Day 8 – October 4, 2011 – Saraswathi Puja – Mahashtami - Annapoorna Parikrama
Navratri Day 9 – October 5, 2011 – Saraswathi Puja ends – Mahanavami
The tenth day is celebrated as Dasara or Vijaya Dashami - Saraswathi Balidan