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Dandiya Raas, Garba, festive beats resonate for Navratri in UK

Dandiya Raas, Garba, festive beats resonate for Navratri in UK
Courtesy: Scotty Robson Photography | Moment Open Via Getty Images

Navratri and the associated Dandiya Raas and Garba, one of the biggest highlights in the diaspora festive calendar in the UK, brings fun, music, dance, friendship and spirituality together.  

British Hindus  celebrate the nine days of Navratri before Dussehra with much grandeur. Large town halls get decorated. Men and women decked up in traditional costumes and jewellery join into the tune of Garba. Their colourful swaying frocks and frills become an aesthetically pleasing sight to behold. The music of the Garba dance and the percussion of the Dandiya sticks make for an inviting environment. One of the most extensive and inclusive Hindu festivals, the Navratri celebrations transcend boundaries to bring the community at large together. 

At the core of this festival is the theme of defeating evil with the force of positivity and goodness. Navratri celebrations are also marked with mainly two forms of Indian folk dances, Dandiya and Garba. Both men and women participate in these group dances in their best traditional outfits.


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Essence of Navratri

Navratri 2022 celebrations begin today and will be observed for the next nine days and nights until Dussehra – when, according to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga kills the demon Mahisashura. 

During these auspicious nine days of Navratri, devotees keep fast and worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga. Each day is marked with a different colour, and worshippers dress in the corresponding colours each day. 

The colours associated with each day are:  

White on September 26, Red on September 27, Royal Blue on September 28, Yellow on September 29, Green on September 30, Grey on October 1, Orange on October 2, Peacock Green on October 3, and Pink on October 4.


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Celebrations in the UK

Like every year, the British Indian diaspora across the UK celebrates Navratri extensively in all major cities.  

Inspiring Indian Women (IIW) has arranged for a funfilled musical night of Thangaat Navratri with renowned UK singer Priyesh Shah at the Alec Reed Academy, near Harrow in London on September 29.  

Edinburgh Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre is hosting Navratri Garba and Daniya nights on all nine days of Navratri.  

Reigate and Redhill Hindu Group (RRHG) of Redhill, UK will celebrate the occasion with Aarti, Bhajan, Kirtan, shlokas, Garba, and Dandiya Dance, on October 1. There will also be performances by kids, the best traditional wear contest, sumptuous vegetarian food, and Prashad.  

The community-based care home for South Asian residents and elderlies, Karuna Manor Care Home in Harrow, London, has also extended their invitation for Navratri celebrations for the public to join in with the residents.  


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National Hindu Students’ Forum UK (NHSF UK) North Zone is back with another spectacular celebration at the Wythenshawe Forum, Manchester, on October 2. However, this event is primarily for students and alumni and is reportedly the best student-organised Navratri event in the north of England. 

Of the several events dotted across Leicester, the Leicester Hindu Festival Council organised Navratri Festival 2022 stands out for an excellent lineup of popular singers like Bhargav Upadhyay, Ravindra Nayak, Varsha Joshi and many more, in Ramgarhia Centre.  

An exclusive event will also be taking place on all days of Navratri at the Platinum suite, Leicester with Rajendra Pala’s Nirmala Arts from Mumbai.


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The ‘Shakti’ within us 

Notably, only days after the Leicester and Birmingham crisis, ahead of the most significant Hindu celebrations, Navratri and Diwali, Leicester Police have shared a tweet assuring safety and protection for the Hindu communities of the region.

In the true spirit of Navratri and Diwali, the communities will overcome negativity with inner strength as iGlobal wishes everyone a very auspicious Navratri. 

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