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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Festival for Leicester's Hindus
Celebrating Navrati
Dancing forms a major part of Navrati celebrations
Some of the biggest celebrations outside India are under way in Leicester, as thousands of Hindus mark Navratri.

The festival involves dancing in honour of the religion's Mother Goddess, Ambica, and takes place over nine nights.

It marks the victory of good over evil, as Ambica is believed to have killed an evil demon thousands of years ago - following a fierce battle lasting nine days and nine nights.

All the main forms of this deity are honoured by devotees, who also take part in a special prayer singing her praises.

More than 41,000 Hindus currently live in Leicester, ensuring the city hosts some of the biggest celebrations of Navrati in Britain.

The Gujarati community marks the occasion by taking part in lively and traditional folk dances called Garba and Raas.



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