Our socio-cultural life is enriched by festivals and cultural events in which we mingle with each other and celebrate together. Navratri is one of the most popular festivals in Gujarat and is called the longest dance festival in the world.
During festival nights special arrangement is done for the Garba dance celebration at different places in Gujarat. But this Navratri, Gujarat is to miss the traditional Garba dance owing to the covid-19 pandemic. The celebration is so renowned that catches the attention from all across the country and the World. Not only in India but people from different countries participate in the Garba dance every year. This year the condition is just the opposite.
The State government has banned the organization of any Garba event during the upcoming festival this year.
The government said it will not allow any type of Garba event in the state during Navratri, which is to begin on October 17 and also released a set of guidelines for the festive season.
The government, however, will allow collective prayers to Goddess Durga where the number of people should not be more than 200, it said in a release.
The time limit of prayers will be of one hour, but nobody can perform Garba at such gatherings.
Prior permission from government authorities has been made mandatory for the organization of community prayer programs during Navratri.
At prayer gatherings, Covid-19-related norms such as social distancing, covering of face with masks, and use of sanitizers will be mandatory.
The government said citizens above 65, children below 10 years, pregnant women, and people with comorbidities should avoid participating in any public program during the festivals.
It advised people to celebrate festivals like Dussehra, Durga puja, Diwali, Gujarati New Year, Bhai Dooj, and Sharad Poornima at their homes with their families.
The government said events such as the burning of effigies of Ravana, Ramlila yantras, rallies, melas (congregations), and exhibitions would not be allowed during the festive season (from Navratri to Diwali).
As the festival season starts, how much we were excited about the celebration. Everyone prepares themselves to make the festival memorable. Whether you are a child or adult, whether you are a customer or a businessman everyone has a plan for festival season. Children plan to get new clothes, sweets, etc. Businessmen and merchants see festivals as they do a lot of business during festival season in India. But Coronavirus has ruined all our plans.
What is Garba?
Garba is a traditional dance form that originates from the state of Gujarat in India. It is typically performed during the Navaratri festival, a Hindu celebration that spans nine nights and is dedicated to the goddess Durga. The dance is characterized by its energetic and rhythmic movements, colorful attire, and vibrant music.
Key features of the Garba dance festival include:
- Traditional Attire: Participants wear colorful and elaborate traditional attire. Women typically wear chaniya cholis (blouse, skirt, and dupatta) while men wear kediyu and dhoti.
- Circular Formations: Garba is performed in circular formations around a central point, usually an idol or an image of goddess Durga. Participants move in a circular pattern, clapping their hands and dancing in sync to the beats of the music.
- Dandiya Raas: Another form of Garba is called “Dandiya Raas.” In this style, participants use wooden sticks called dandiyas while dancing. The dancers strike their dandiyas together in rhythmic patterns, adding an extra layer of complexity and excitement to the dance.
- Live Music: Traditional folk music accompanies the Garba dance. Instruments like the dhol, tabla, and traditional string instruments are commonly used to create lively and rhythmic melodies.
- Celebratory Atmosphere: The Garba dance festival creates a festive and celebratory atmosphere. People of all ages and backgrounds come together to dance, socialize, and enjoy the festivities.
- Community Participation: Garba brings communities together, fostering a sense of unity and belonging. It’s a time when people connect with their cultural roots and celebrate their traditions.
- Navaratri Festival: Garba is closely associated with the Navaratri festival, which is a nine-night celebration dedicated to different forms of the goddess Durga. Each night represents a different aspect of the goddess, and Garba is performed as a way to honor her and seek her blessings.
- Evolution and Modernization: While Garba has deep traditional roots, it has also evolved over time. Modern versions may incorporate contemporary music, dance moves, and fusion elements while still retaining the core essence of the dance.
The Garba dance festival is not only a cultural event but also a reflection of the vibrant spirit of Gujarat and Indian culture. It has gained popularity beyond India’s borders and is celebrated in various parts of the world where Indian communities reside.