Dandiya or the Danidiya Raas is held with much enthusiasm in all parts of India and even abroad. It forms an integral part of the Navratri celebrations and isn’t merely restricted to the state of Gujarat. People across different states of India, unite to participate in the Dandiya celebrations & events organized by local and regional Durga Puja organizing committees and their members. But have you ever wondered what is the story behind the unique dance form and how did it originate?
Continue reading to find out more about the mesmerizing Dandiya Raas and the story behind the amazing Dandiya festival.
History & Origin
Before we proceed any further, it is important to find out about the history & origin of the Dandiya folk dance. It is widely believed that the unique dance form was originally performed to pay respect &homage to Goddess Durga. The Dandiya dance is essentially a representation of the battle between Goddess Durga and the evil demon Mahishasura. According to another legend, the folk dance form was performed to signify the ‘Raas-leela’ between Lord Krishna & Goddess Radha. Originally only the men participated in Dandiya Raas and hence used swords rather than sticks to perform the dance. However, later the dance form became popular among both men & women. Also, the sticks used for performing the Dandiya dance represent the Goddess’s sword.
The Different forms of the Folk Dance
The Dandiya dance form originated in the state of Gujarat. But, other forms of the folk dance include ‘Dang Lila’, which is practiced in Rajasthan. In Dang Lila, the dancers make use of one stick rather than two. When it comes to performing Dadniya, both women and men come together to form two circles and dance to the drum or Dhol’s beats.
In fact, event organizers today have started inviting live orchestra singers to perform at the Dandiya event/function and add more charm & glamour to their event. One of the reasons why the Dandiya night/event has become truly special is the fact that people from all walks of life, age and ethnicity have started participating in Danidya celebrations these days.
Costumes for Dandiya
The Dandiya celebrations are incomplete without the right set of apparels or costumes that are specially designed for performing the dance. Typically, people wear dresses with similar patterns and colours to mark their feeling of oneness and togetherness. While, the women get into their traditionally designed Chaniya Cholis, featuring vivid colours and excellent embroidery, the men slip into their traditional kurta payjamas. However, many women have also started wearing designer sarees, lehengas as well as lehenga sarees to celebrate the festival in style. The women also adorn themselves with bandhani duppattas that feature glittering mirror work and wear heavy jewellery to look beautiful on the occasion of Dandiya.
When one mentions about Dandiya, it is impossible to not talk about Garba. Both Dandiya and Garba go hand in hand, and are a prominent part of the Navratri celebrations. While, Dandiya Raas takes place post Aarti (worshipping of Goddess Durga), Garba is organized right before the Aarti.
It is important to note that Dandiya Raas is performed late in the evening or at night after all the rituals have been duly performed. Hundreds and thousands of people come together to take part in the Dandiya celebrations and enjoy a night full of dance, fun, love and laughter. Families in India attend the event to enjoy together and indulge in festivities, food and merriment.
So, what do you have to say about your Dandiya celebrations? Have you ever performed the Dandiya Raas with your loved ones? If yes, then do share your feedback/comments below!