NAVARATRI SPECIAL

Navaratri will be celebrated from the dates of September 25 to October 3 in 2014, and will culminate with Vijayadashami on October 3. These nine nights celebrate the Divine Feminine, and are a time of great festivity in India.

Young men and women are dressed at their best during this festive season. Women wear bright coloured Chaniya Cholis and men wear Kedias. These are hand embroidered and embedded with mirrors, shells and anything that goes with it. Women go to great extents experimenting on decorative accessories and jewellery that are a mix of traditional Gujarat and modern-day fashion. Nine Days of Different Colours.Official Nine colours  set below are for Navratri 2014 which will be starting on first day of Navratri i.e. 25 September 2014 to 3 October.

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Day 1- 25 September 2014 – Pratipada Yellow

Day 2- 26 September 2014 – Dwitiya Green

Day 3- 27 September 2014 – Tritiya Grey

Day 4- 28 September 2014 – Chaturthi Orange

Day 5- 29 September 2014 – Panchami White

Day 6- 30 September 2014 – Shashthi Red

Day 7-   1 October 2014     – Saptami Royal Blue

Day 8-   2 October 2014    – Ashthami Pink

Day 9-   3 October 2014   – Navami Purple

Chaniya Choli: Chaniya choli is divided into three parts: Chaniya, Choli and Odhni. Chaniya is the long flowing skirt worn by women. Chaniya is also worn by women for other occasions like marriages etc. But the difference between Navratri Chaniyas and Chaniya’s worn during weddings is that mostly the Navratri Chaniyas are heavy with embroidered mirror works whereas The flare of chaniya needs to be very long at least 9 meters in width such that it produces some admirable twirls when the dancer turns around. Whereas traditional Chaniyas designed for weddings or for other formal wears are embroidered with either pearl, sequin, silk or zari and also those channiyas are not free flowing rather they are umbrella shaped. These Chaniyas can either be made of cotton, silk, chiffon, organza or satin cloth whereas for marriage like occasions Chaniya Cholis in brocade are preferred.

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Choli worn by women is blouse which can be as traditional as long blouse extending below the waist as loose blouse or it can be as fashionable as short blouse that may just lie above the waist or it can be short with backless tie-ups called Bandni Choli or backless choli. Ethnic appearance of the Choli is enhanced by Embroidery, sequins, crystals, kundan stones, zardosi, and aari, thread work, mirror work etc. Choli designers today not only caters to the Indian audience but they have moved a step ahead in creating amalgamation of ethnic and traditional by creating bustiers, noodle straps, short necks, sleeveless and halter neck.

Odhni or dupatta generally covers the head of the dancer. It need not be matching in color it can be plain or embroidered as per ones wishes. It is believed that tradition of wearing these Chaniya Cholis originated in Rajasthan and Kutch region of Gujarat. Around 25 types of raw materials are needed to make swirling chaniya Cholis that are worn during the festival.

Kamkha : This is a traditional Gujrati ‘Rabaran’ blouse with embroidery on the front and back open.

Chudla : These are Rabaran bangles to be worn over entire arms. If worn along with a Kamkha will give you the best traditional look.

Kedia : Men wear these high waist tops which have a very different feel and looks great when men are dancing in circles.

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Mojdee : These are hand made pure leather shoes with embroidery on the upper surface with hardened leather soles.These nine days are arranged in this way because it is after all from the earth that we arise, and we could live an active life which is rajas – the second nature of the Devi. The third one may come your way or may not. If you have to bring her down into you, you have to strive. Otherwise she will not get down to you. Kali is on the ground. Lakshmi is sitting on a flower. Saraswati is riding a peacock.To approach these nine days, and every other aspect of life in a celebratory way is most important.

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