The reds and greens stand out as skirts swirl in delight. Heat and sweat build up as feet relentlessly move to the beat. Drums are sounded and musical melodies burst forth. Smiles are shared and laughter rings clear. Every night for nine days, this is the agenda. Celebration, pomp, color, dance, food, music and laughter are abundant. But, what is the significance?
I don my bright orange, blue and pink skirt and blouse (chanya choli) with bangles jingling on my wrists. Wrapping the sash strategically so that my belly is semi-covered with translucent material. It is so beautiful to lose yourself in the motion, while being surrounded by flying colors with music ringing loudly in your ears. The music, the excitement, the rush – all creates a bubble of positivity.
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Navratri is here.
Navratri is a Hindu festival which is devoted to the worship of the Divine Mother in her various forms, under different names given by various people’s. The three forms of the goddess: Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi are invoked. The festival is symbolic of the victory of positivity over negativity and Navratri literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights.
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I took part in the Navratri celebrations for the second time in my life this year and I was able to genuinely feel the atmosphere charged with positive energy while I danced. This was before I ever knew about the significance of the festival. It is intriguing to realize that the entire festival is about the power of good and the essential idea that energy is paramount.
There is much talk off positive thinking, good vibes and other such phenomenon in today’s world. Hence, this age-old tradition which has been symbolizing such thinking for so many decades has become all the more special to me. I am intrigued by the fact that people from different cultures engage in this celebration and can come together to celebrate it as one unit.
The power of celebrating life through the practices of different cultures is so great. It gives us hope that our diversity can bring us together, as opposed to allowing our differences to tear us apart.
Shubh Navratri to all!