Garba is a Dance Form originated from Gujarat in India. It it is a community dance form in the villages of Gujarat.
Garba is performed during Navaratri (Nine Nights), a Hindu festival dedicated to the Goddess Durga. In Gujarat (and in many other parts including foreign countries) Garba Dance is performed on these nine nights.
The dance starts in the evening and lasts until late night where both men and women participate. It is also performed during some social gathering or events. The participants wear colourful costumes. Modern Garba is highly influenced by another dance form Dandiya, traditionally performed by men.
Garba comes from the Sanskrit word Garbha, meaning “Womb”. Traditional Garba dance is performed by women forming a circle around a clay lantern with light inside. This is called the Garbha Deepa (or womb lamp). The clay pot or vessel symbolizes the human body within which the divinity resides (here the Goddess Devi).
The Garba dance worships and honors the divine power within the human body and thus makes it as a celebration. Normally Garba dance is performed barefoot. Mother earth has some generative powers and the foot acts as a conducting medium for this energy to reach the human body. Thus the mother earth is also being respected in this dance form.