The Indian festival of Navratri was celebrated in Timaru recently with a grand garba (Gujarati dance) night hosted by the South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society at Savage Hall in Dee St.
The festival of Navratri (literally meaning nine nights) is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals.
More than 80 members of the Indian community thronged the venue, resplendent in full traditional finery.
The evening began with prayer songs invoking the supreme power. All members joined in the rendition of the soulful prayer songs.
This was followed by distribution of “prasad” or holy food.
Finally, it was time for traditional dances of garba and dandiya (another Gujarati dance form) in which all present participated enthusiastically.
Their happy faces and great dance moves added to the revelry and were a delight to see.
The children enjoyed dancing in the special area allocated to them in the middle of the floor.
The positivity and energy emanating from the colourful costumes combined with the enthusiasm of dancing to the Indian folk songs made the atmosphere extremely positive and enjoyable.
Among those present, there were people from other communities too, which added to the global aspect of this festival.