Garba & Dandiya Raas: Dances and Music of Navratri Festival


Garba Raas

Navratri is a festival being celebrated in India. During this festival people worship, dance and celebrated it over a period of nine days. There are forms of dance known as Garba and dandiya also known as Garba Raas and Dandiya Raas that originated in the states of Gujarat and Sindh. These two forms have religious origin and are considered to be a way of worshipping Goddess Durga for all nine days of Navratri. The merger of these two dances has formed the high-energy, exciting dance that is seen today.

Dandiya Raas

Garba is play by a group of people in a line and moving in a circular motion. Similarly Dandiya is played with two sticks. These sticks, which can vary from 1.5 to 2 feet in length, and is meant to represent the sword of the avenging Goddess Durga. These dances, which were performed in Durga’s honor, this dance form is actually the staging of a mock-fight between the Goddess and Mahishasura, the mighty demon-king, and is nicknamed “The Sword Dance”.

Garba and Dandiya Dresses

The Men wear special turbans and kedias. The women wear traditional colourful dresses choli, ghagra and bandhani dupattas embroidered, dazzling with mirror work and heavy jewellery. Dhol (kind of Drum) is used as well as complementary percussion instruments such as the dholak, tabla and others. The true dance gets extremely complicated and energetic.

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