DUBAI, September 23, 2017 (Gulf News): Thousands of Hindu Indian expatriates in Dubai are recreating the vibrant Navratri festival which began on Thursday in India. Navratri (nav means nine and ratri means nights) symbolises the victory of positivity over negativity and culminates in the celebration of Dussehra, a tenth-day festival celebrating the victory of good over evil, where effigies of Ravana, a demon king in Indian mythology, are burnt to symbolise the vanquishing of evil.
The Navratri festival also marks the beginning of the harvest season and is symbolized by color, verve and vigor throughout India, with each region of the country celebrating the festival in its own traditional way. In East India, for example, Navratri marks the beginning of the nine-day Durga Puja — where the Deity Durga is worshipped, while in the North, it is the Deity Vaishno Devi. In Western India, folk traditions marked by colorful dances called Dandiya Raas and Garba mark the occasion, while in many parts of southern India, Navratri is marked with a festival of dolls in many homes. Navratri and Dussehra are precursors to the Indian festival of lights, Diwali, that comes 20 days after Dussehra.