NAVRATRI IN USA - ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
Navratri, or Navaratri, as the name suggests - it is a festival celebration that spans over nine nights and ten days. The way an Indian celebrates Navratri varies drastically region by region in India and abroad.
Indian diaspora in the USA, Canada, the UK, etc have taken their heritage to their new home and harmoniously celebrate it with the whole of their family, friends, and neighborhood.
You could also be dazzled with people wearing Navratri chaniya choli and kurtas for dancing in a synchronized pattern that is famously known as Garba and Dandiya. Indians, who observe Navratri, go on shop for their favorite Navratri dress for each night of Navratri.
Navratri celebrations in the USA are as larger than life as they are in India. They are widely celebrated in Indian communities together especially Bengali, Gujarati, and other North-Indian families and neighborhoods.
Navratri fasts are some of the extreme fasting rituals in Hinduism. It varies from person to person but it can go on for nine-day and nights without eating anything but only just water.
Must Read: Dupatta Styles For Navratri
While some prefer to only eat fruits or just a single meal a day. Some follow dedicated food that needs to be consumed throughout the festivals while some only eat on the last day directly.
Communities even stay awake the whole night known as Jagran for the Goddess and they sleep in the morning. This is where Garba and other festivities are organized amongst the community members.
It is a grand Hindu festival, very similar to the recent festival of Ganesha that is Ganesh Chaturthi, and here the Goddess is worshiped in all her forms. Each night and day of Navratri is dedicated to an incarnation of the goddess.
It is originated and celebrated for the victory of Goddess Durga over her long battle with the demon Mahishasur. It is about the victorious nature over the evil spirit. The name of the Goddess might change as she is known differently in every area.
HOW LONG IS NAVRATRI?
Navratri is celebrated four times a year according to the Hindu calendar. Chaitra Navratri, Ashada Navratri, Sharada Navratri, and Magha Navratri, and out of all these - Chaitra and Sharada ones are hugely celebrated.
The one which we are discussing in this blog is Sharada Navratri - the biggest Navratri of the year.
Nine nights and days of Navratri are associated with the different goddesses and colors. They are also known as Navadurga - the nine goddesses worshiped in Navratri.
Night 1 - Pratipada - Goddess Shailaputri
Daughter of the Mountain and the wife of Lord Shiva.
Night 2 - Dwitiya - Goddess Brahmacharini
Also known as Yogini, Goddess Parvati’s unmarried self.
Night 3 - Tritiya - Goddess Chandraghanta
Goddess Parvati adorned a half-moon on her forehead after getting married to Lord Shiva.
Night 4 - Chaturthi - Goddess Kushmanda
Goddess Kushmanda, having eight arms, is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi. H
Night 5 - Panchami - Goddess Skandamata
As the name goes by, Goddess Skandamata refers to the mother of Skanda i.e. God Kartikeya.
Night 6 - Sashti - Goddess Katyayani
The most violent forms of Devi or Goddess. Also known as a warrior goddess.
Night 7 - Saptami - Goddess Kaalaratri
Goddess Parvati went on to fight demons Sumbha and Nisumbha. She tore her fair skin away and her skin turned black.
Night 8 - Ashtami - Goddess Mahagauri
It is said that after the battle with demons, Goddess Kaalaratri went to take a bath in the river of Ganga. She became very fair as she bathed in the river and lost her darker complexion.
Night 9 - Navami - Goddess Siddhidatri
Goddess Siddhidatri is the one who possesses and bestows all types of siddhis. She is also known as Goddess Mahalakshmi. Color peacock green represents one’s admiration of nature’s beauty.
Lord Shiva attained all of these siddhis after worshipping this Goddess Shiddhidatri and it is believed that she is the other side of Ardhanarishwar.
Navaratri is also celebrated as Durga Puja by the Bengali Hindu communities across the world. It starts on the sixth day (sashti) of Navratri and ends on the tenth day i.e. Dashmi, Vijayadashmi, or Dusshera.
Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ganesha, and Kartikeya are revered alongside Goddess Durga during Durga Puja in Hindu communities across Easter India, West Bengal, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
It is gorgeously celebrated with establishments of pandals that are temporarily built and later removed. It is mostly held in community areas where devotees could gather and enjoy celebratory activities altogether.
NAVRATRI IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
It is an imported Hindu festival that is celebrated majorly by Indians as well as their friends of other nationalities for the love of devotion and festive spirit through dancing. Music, singing, and dancing form the core celebratory activities in Navratri celebrations in the states.
Texas, New Jersey, and California form the major regions in the US where Indian communities are situated and living for a long time along with Indian heritage.
Image Resource : centraljersey.com
The largest and most prominent celebrations of Navratri are held in California. Durga Puja is organized by Bengali Hindu communities in the cities of New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta.
For the past 30 years in California, annual Navratri events had been organized by Natoo Patel - the South Asian community’s prominent leader.
Anaheim Convention Centre, Cal Poly Pomona, ISSO Swaminarayan Temple, and even UC Irvine Bren Events Center have been some of the host centers of this event. His involvement in this celebration has gathered people beyond the South Asian diaspora. It has been evolving into mainstream culture in Southern California.
Raas Garba and Dandiya are hugely popular among the devotees and guests at this Navratri event. Dandiya and Garba Queen Falguni Pathak have announced to perform in the USA on her tour this October of the year 2021. She is very ready to groove the American audience to her enigma and musical nights of Navratri.
- WHAT TO WEAR DURING NAVRATRI 2021?
Ghagra Choli dates back to a long history in the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular attire that comes with a strong cultural heritage.
It consists of three-piece including a long and floating skirt that is the ghagra, a blouse (choli), and lastly, a net fabric-based or transparent fabric-based dupatta. Ghagra is pleated and embroidered with beautiful design artwork.
It has spun off several variations across every state in India. Chaniya Choli is one of the most-shopped variants of Ghagra Choli worn during Navratri.
|STYLE TIP - Kundan and Bohemian-style jewelry are a must-have with Ghagra Choli attire for every woman and girl to stand out amongst the crowd.|
Chaniya Choli is a variation of well-known Indian ethnic wear - Ghagra Choli. It comprises of three-piece Navratri dress for women and girls. Chaniya is a knee-length heavily embroidered skirt, Choli is the blouse, and an accompanying transparent dupatta.
Zari work or Gota work is a peculiarity of Chaniya Choli. Chaniya has glittering mirror work with net fabric over it. It is mostly made of cotton fabric and its varieties for absolute comfort. It can also be made out of silk, chiffon, khadi, and brocade materials.
|STYLE TIP - Oxidized silver jewelry comprising long necklaces, jhumkas, and maang tika can really add an ambitious style statement to your aura.|
Traditional Bengali saree that come in dual tones of red and white can be seen everywhere during Durga puja. This saree is mostly in white with borders and pallu in red. The blouse is mainly and purely red.
This type of saree is mostly worn during the festivity of Sindurkhela and Vijayadashmi at Durga Puja pandals. Other Navratri sarees can be made of any fabric that has heavy sequin-based work or zari embroidery.
|STYLE TIP - As Sindurkhela is organized for and between the married women of the community. Kundan Jhumkas with gold mangal sutra is always styled with a saree.|
For playing Garba or Dandiya, Kurta with dhoti is the most popular choice for men to wear. It becomes a fashion and heritage statement for every man or boy who is attending Navratri celebrations and taking part in community activities.
It is typically a two-piece Navratri dress for men but the kurta can be styled with a Nehru jacket over it.
Dhotis can be worn in unique styles with different pleating patterns. Some kurtas are with floating and open ends that allow the Kurta to spherically move while dancing. This combination is popular in Gujarati and Rajasthani communities.
|STYLE TIP - Style your kurta with a Nehru jacket over it adding more flare to your personality and overall attire.|
KURTA AND PAJAMA
Instead of dhoti, you can always opt for a pajama and avoid worrying about how to wear a dhoti. Pajama or pajama is simple and plain cotton-based pants that are skinny and fit. It is generally white as the kurta becomes the centerpiece of whole attire.
A Nehru jacket can also be worn over a kurta. A loose kurta shirt can also be worn with pajamas. Nowadays, this is popular as a Navratri dress for women who wear the kurta with long palazzo-style pants.
|STYLE TIP - Mojaris, leather shoes, or ethnic sandels can be paired with a kurta and pajama set for both men and women.|
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Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and leave a comment below about your opinions or suggestions for the next blog. Now start preparing for the Navratri festival by shopping for the best of best dresses at karmaplace.com