FESTIVALS OF GUJARAT – DANDIYA & GARBA

Gujarat is a land of festivals, colors, cuisine and culture that are all visible through its beautiful people who are exceptionally friendly, jovial and open minded. This is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, and it is also home to the ancient Hindu temple of Dwarkadhish which is one of the most sacred and holiest pilgrimage for the Hindu community. Not to forget the cuisine, Gujarat is famous the world over for its Dhokla, Khakra and Thepla that is wonderful to savor when you are hungry, and looking for a satisfying meal or a quick breakfast. The festivals of Gujarat are even more vibrant and colorful with Navratri and Janmashtami being the most popular festivals, apart from the annual ‘Kite Festivals’ held across the state, especially in Ahmedabad. Last but not the least is the world famous Dandiya and Garba dance form that is performed by young girls, women and the men folk during the days of nine days of Navratri celebrations.

 

Festivals, Dance and Fashion

Mid October is basically the time when the air has that festive mood and flavor, as it is during this time of the year, various temples and urban societies in Gujarat organize Dandiya and Garba dance nights. It is holidays in schools during this festive season, and people flock to grounds and open spaces to perform this wonderful ritual, which is a visual treat of some sort. Boys and girls are in their best of traditional Gujarati attire that are colorful, and has beads, sequins and mirrors embroidered all over the bodice. Girls and women usually wear lehenga cholis while performing Dandiya, and the men folk wear a short jacket style full sleeve top and tight fit churidars that looks unique, and which is typically Gujarati in essence.

Shri Krishna Janmashtami is also one of the most popular festivals in Gujarat that draws huge crowd from all walks of life, and people come out in numbers to pull the chariot of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra during this colorful festival. It is mainly the ISKCON temples that organize such grand “Rath Yatras” throughout the state of Gujarat, and people are all dressed up in colorful traditional Indian clothing, especially silk & cotton sarees, lehenga cholis  and kurtis.

During such vibrant and colorful festivals, people dance, sing and enjoy their entire day to the fullest, savoring the best of local delicacies and also wear the best of traditional clothing. The ethnic attires are all beautiful in creation through the use of pristine quality fabric, apart from the tassels, beads and stones that are intricately embellished on to the fabric. But it is during the time of Navratri, one can feel and see the real essence of Gujarat, in its ever smiling people who prefer dressing up in a typical Gujarati way that looks classic in appeal. So, you have to be in Gujarat during this particular festive season and savor the real essence tat this vibrant place has to offer.

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