From the 2003 Christmas Revels program:
This festival of nine nights of celebration and dance is dedicated to the Mother or Divine Goddess who represents the all-powerful universal energy that destroys evil and protects the righteous. The folk dance Garba-Raas is still performed today in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Garba (from the Sanskrit garbadeep, meaning a lamp inside a pot) is a circular dance performed by women wearing colorful embroidered textiles that bring the arid landscape to life. They dance with Garba pots on their heads, symbolizing the Universe and the light of Universal Energy shining through. As the celebration progresses, the Garba gives way to a more energetic stick dance, Dandiya Raas, in which dancers join the circle holding small polished sticks or dandiyas, striking them together as they whirl to the intoxicating rhythms. The Raas has its roots in the legendary dance between Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the village maidens, symbolizing the joyful dance of the human soul with God.

Garba-Raas Folk Dance

Featured in this video:
Oran Sandel as Old Rom
Khanci Dos (stage band)
Nritya-Tarangi (Dancing Waves) Dancers

Read the full program from the 2003 Christmas Revels: Roads of the Roma

See the holidays Revelers shared in our “Revels Book of Days” — part of our “Season of Reveling”!

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