Navratri celebrations this year began from September 26. The nine-day Hindu festival will conclude on October 5. This festival of power and light welcomes the arrival of Goddess Durga on earth. In many parts of India, people celebrate Navratri by getting all decked-up, splurging on delicacies, and going pandal hopping. In other states, people delve into the joy of the festival by performing Dandiya and Garba.
Both Garba and Dandiya are performed in large groups on all nine days of Navratri. But, have you ever wondered about the difference between these two dance forms? If not, read below to find out!
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Difference between Garba and Dandiya
Garba and Dandiya dance forms are actually quite different from each other, though both have originated from the folk culture of Gujarat.
The word Garba means the womb of a mother, carrying a child. The child symbolises a new life coming to Earth. Similarly, you must have noticed that people make a big circle while performing Garba. The circle embodies the life cycle of the womb. It is believed that performing Garba wipes away one’s existing sorrows and helps one usher in a new life with hopes and dreams.
In Dandiya, people enact the famous myth of Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahishsura with a trident. Thus, the Dandiya dance is performed using colourful sticks, which represent Goddess Durga engaging in a battle with the demon. It is believed that the sound of the sticks striking against one another helps ward off evil.
Earlier, only women used to perform Garba or Dandiya. However, now, men also perform the dance forms during Navratri with the utmost vigour. Both dance forms are performed before Goddess Durga. Foot-tapping Gujarati songs are played on loop during Navratri celebrations for devotees to perform Garba and Dandiya.