Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nine Nights Festival —— Just dance and pray!

If you are a regular visitor or a long-term resident in India, you are always bound to come across some kind of celebrations in between the normal chaos & the fast paced life. Most of the times it’s either a marriage or a festival. Lighting, bright Colorful clothing, various flowers, very often dancing symbolize these festivals spread across different religion & communities of India. 
url.jpgIf you are wondering what’s going on with the colorful lights, loudly played music & dance everywhere these days, well! We are going through the NavRatri (Nava-9 & Ratri-Nights) Festival right now. This is a festival that goes for nine nights. In a highly male dominated Indian society where even Gods have a bigger share of festivals on their side, NavRatri is a rare extravaganza of Goddess. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti(power) / Devi (Goddess) are worshiped. It is the most enjoyable time of the year for Indian ladies because it is the festival especially for their respected Goddess. It represents the importance of women’ s power and they should gain their equality in the society as well. A lot of ladies wear shining traditional dress and dance overnight. Most of times in life, they are only looked as a supporting role, but during NavRatri, they finally play as a leading character!
Interesting thing is this festival also corresponds to a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which is observed primarily by the ethnic Chinese of Min Nan linguistic group in Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and also the Riau Islands called the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.
Navratri is an important major festival and is celebrated all over India; however, it is most famous in the western state of Gujrat & Eastern state of West Bengal, although celebrations are done differently in these both states. In Gujarat it’s more of the dance forms of garba & dandiya (dancing with 2 sticks as prop ) while in Bengal is popularly the Durga Puja decorations that is the Highlight. When Mr Xi was invited by Mr Modi to visit his hometown during his recent trip to India, garba & dandiya was performed by a group of festival dressed ladies at the event. Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomizes the victory of Good over Evil.
If you are in India & aware of any dandiya event close to your place, do not hesitate to visit it and give a shot to the dance. It’s worth every penny if it’s a paid event. The costumes are colorful & lavish. 


The word for today
Tiao Wu

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