• Rohit Pansare

Project 365: Day 46, Festival of the Gods..


Festival of the Gods..


Driving through Gulbai Tekra, a self-made settlement of artists famed for their Ganesh idols, was not the same this evening. The usually dark and silent area was lit-up in a riot of colors with speakers blasting traditional songs sung by a live orchestra. In a small open area by the junction, in front of a temple, people danced in circles, lost, as if in a trance. In the center of this, six huge structures, hoisted by men and women were swaying and moving in circles. Truly a site to behold! They were celebrating Dev Deewali, the Festival of Lights of the Gods!

Celebrated on the 15th lunar day of the Hindu month of Karthika(November-December), Dev Deewali is an important Hindu festival. I later learnt that here in Gujarat the festival is celebrated in a unique style. The dancers perform the traditional dance usually referred to as Garba. The huge conical wooden structure actually signifies a Goddess. In the lower part of the structure an earthen pot is placed with a burning diya (light) which represents a womb bearing a child. The dancers celebrate the woman and the miracle of birth that only she is capable of performing through this brilliant performance. 

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