Indian Festival


Photo provided by Maitri Parekh

“The time goes by really fast with your friends, your family members, and when you’re dancing. Navratri is a festival that we celebrate every year. To celebrate we go to temples,” stated Maitri Parekh, an eighth grader at BYMS. Every year from October 1st to October 9th a Indian festival called Navratri is celebrated at Indian temples worldwide. Navratri is dedicated to an Indian God named Durga.

The festival is nine days, ten nights long, and four to five hours a day. It is nine days long because everyday celebrates one of the nine forms of the God Durga. The Indian festival consists of dances, eating, getting together, getting paintings and henas, singing prayers, and giving food to the Goddess.

Navratri is celebrated by mostly Hindus that perform fasting rituals and traditional dance forms, mentioned The Indian Express. Many arrive in special clothing that they only wear for special events. These special clothes are worn for the God who as well is wearing the clothes.

Women wear sari, an Indian type of dress with fabric, many designs, and a lot of diamonds and stones. Women also wear a lot of jewelry, such as bangles. Maitri Parekh said, “In our hand we wear five to six bangles per hand.” Men wear plain shirts with pants. Both men and women do not wear shoes near God.

“Imagine hundreds of brightly-dressed dancers swirling in unison around the colorful statue of a beautiful Indian goddess, as a drummer quickens the pace on his dhol,” according to the article “5 Reasons Why You Should Go To A Garba Raas Dance During The Hindu Holiday Of Navratri” by

Carol Kuruvilla published by The Huffington Post. Those dancing, form a big circle to dance for hours to Indian God music.

The dance called Garba consists of steps that are repetitive. During the dance, dandiyas are the sticks used as a part of the dance. Also performed in the dance is going around the Goddess with a dish with fire in middle. During an interview with the Matador Messenger, Maitri Parekh mentioned, “You get sweaty, you get tired, and at the end you don’t even feel your legs.”

“The devotees observe a nine-day-long fast during this time and consume only select ingredients such as kuttu atta, singhara atta, fresh vegetables, milk, yogurt and makhanas,” stated in the article “Navratri 2016: The many health benefits of the Navratri thali ingredients” by New Delhi published by The Indian Express.

The food, which are snacks and small portions, are eaten after giving to God. Some of the food served are sweets and chips for fasting. Two drinks at the festival are mango juice, and lassi. Lassi is a drink with yogurt, water, sugar, and mango cubes.