Navratri is the biggest festival which is celebrated with lots of joy every year by the people of Gujarat and other western states. It is the festival to worship Hindu Goddess Ambaji. Ambaji Mata is also called as Durga Mata. Navratri comes in Gujarati month Bhadarvo as per Gujarati calendar.
Ancient says, that Ambaji Goddess (Chamundeshwari Goddess) killed demon Mahishasur after continuous fight for 9 days. Some says that there are 9 different form of Goddess of Ambaji Goddess. So people worship all Goddess during 9 nights in Navratri. Navratri festival is for 9 days. 10th day is called Dussera. Dussera is celebrated in victory of Lord Rama over Ravan. Peoples are playing Garba during Navratri.
Garba is the folk dance of Gujarat peoples. We can say that Garba is a one type of traditional Dance. Peoples also wear traditional dress to play Garba. Gujarati Garba is world famous. Generally it is also called as the Raas-Garba. It is said that Lord Krishna played Raas with Gopi's in Vrindavan. Raas and Garba played differently. Especially Garba of Saurashtra region is very famous. Garba is telecasted on Television during Navratri and in some program during year also. Dandiya (Cylinder shape stick) is used to play Raas and also for Garba. There are different steps and methods to play Garba. Now days, Garba is also played in family function, during marriages and anywhere in parties also. There are benefits of playing Garba also. It is one type of exercise. It helps to lose weight. It gives some stamina to our body and also keeps our body fit.
During Navratri peoples are establishing Idol of Ambaji Goddess in a small temple in their Societies and in the streets. Peoples play Garba and worship Ambaji Mata in all the 9 nights of Navratri. People play Garba from 9 to 10 P.M night to midnight or till early morning. They play Garba with musical parties. Peoples are playing Garba with different steps and types such as Two Tali, Three Tali, Hinch, Raas and many more. Some people go to learn different steps of Garba at Garba Class (Garba learning Institute) also. Before Navratri lots of Garba Class opens. People from another country also come to Gujarat to enjoy Navratri and to play Garba.
Let's have look for each day for Navratri. Before some days of Navratri people works to prepare the site to Establish Goddess Idol and to play Garba. They are decorating site with some decorative items and also install a variety of lighting bulbs.
First day is called Bhadarva Sud Ekam. It comes with lots of joy and happiness. Residential establish Idol of Ambaji Goddess to the temple in their society. At night 9 P.M they start Prayer (Aarti) to the Goddess and starts playing Garba. People are playing Garba till midnight.
Second day is called Bij, third day is Trij, forth day is Choth, fifth day is pancham, sixth day is Chhath, seventh days is Saatam, Eight day is Aatham, Ninth day is Nom. Each day during Navratri Goddes Ambaji is worshipped. There is a special importance of Aatham in Navratri for all. So great worship is organized in some societies. 10th day is called Dussera at which Statue of Ravan is burned with fire by people in memory of Ravan death by Lord Rama. Dussera is celebrating in memory of Victory of truth over leasing, victory of light over darkness. Last day after some worship, Ambaji Goddess Idol is kept in someone's home for the rest of the days in a year. There is a Diwali after Twenty (20) days of Navratri. It is a time of celebrating festivals and enjoying from Navratri to End of Diwali.
Recent Tradition for celebrating Navratri in Gujarat
People enjoy and celebrate Navratri as listed above. In addition to this, now a day, Garba festival is organized in Party plots and clubs. So people go to play Garba in Party plots and in clubs. Since some year, Garba is also organized by Gujarat Government with the brand name of the Vibrant Gujarat Navratri festival or Vibrant Navratri. From and around the cities people come here to play and see Garba. Here different Garba from the different Gujarat region is shown. In addition to these different programs are also organized during this. Peoples enjoy a lot. To play Garba till late night, then have a breakfast. Navratri is the festival of the Worshipping Goddess along with joy.