Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

All-night dancing at Indian festival

Indians prepare for a final weekend of dance and celebration that will wrap up a nine-day festival marking the goddess Durga's victory in battle over a demon king.

DUBAI // Indians are preparing for a final weekend of dance and celebration that will wrap up a nine-day festival marking the goddess Durga's victory in battle over a demon king. Navratri, or nine, is a Hindu event traditionally observed by worshippers wearing colourful costumes, taking up bamboo sticks and dancing through the night.

The festival is most popular in the West Indian state of Gujarat, but is also keenly followed across the country. The modern version of the celebration, which is popular among expatriate Indians, incorporates traditional music with contemporary disco in what is known as Disco Dandiya. Large groups of Indian men and women dance through the night for the nine days. Although Navratri began on Saturday, much of the large Indian population in Dubai has been waiting until this weekend to celebrate. Several events will be held at parks, amphitheatres and clubs.

The Country Club Hotel in Dubai is organising The Great Indian Navratri Utsav 2009, a three-day event at the Al Mamzar Park Amphitheatre starting today. Organisers said yesterday that they expected to attract 20,000 people over the three days, after drawing about 15,000 last year. "The festival promises to be a great show, all about glitz, glamour, song and dance for three consecutive festive days," said Mr Rajeev Reddy, chairman and managing director of the Country Club group.

The Bollywood actress Arati Chabbria and other Indian celebrities are expected to attend. A similar event is being organised at Wonderland Park, where Dandiya 2009 will feature several performances by popular singers, dancers and DJs. There will be other celebrations on a smaller scale in some of the Indian clubs and associations. Indians have been busy shopping in Bur Dubai's Meena Bazaar for this weekend's festivities.

"We will be attending at least one of the Dandiya nights," said Shetal Gajjar, an accountant from Gujarat who now lives in Dubai. "We really miss India and our families back home on these nine days but at least we get to enjoy the festival in Dubai." A regular dancer at Dandiya nights in India, she will be celebrating in Dubai for the first time. "I hope it is as much fun as India," she said. pmenon@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National