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Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 11:09 UK
Colchester marks Hindu festival
Drumming at the Navratri Festival in Colchester
Thirteen-year-old Bharat was part of the Navratri festivities in Colchester

Hundreds of people have gathered in Colchester to celebrate the ancient Hindu festival of Navratri, signalling the beginning of autumn.

The global event, which originates from the Indian state of Gujarat, lasted for nine nights and ended on 27, September.

It marked a time of fasting and thanksgiving to creation.

Celebrations at the Alderman Blaxhill School were hosted by the East Anglian Indian Association and saw people of all ages and backgrounds taking part.

Women especially look forward to the festival and celebrate it because in Hindu culture women are associated with creation.

During the day, the women fast and in the evening get together to dance and worship in praise of God, requesting God to give them strength and courage.

Food plays an important role during Navratri, with special dishes freshly cooked at home and offered to the Gods.

There then follows an Aarti ceremony, where diyas (lamps) are used to praise the light of spirituality.

After the Aarti, the food is blessed and then shared by everyone.




SEE ALSO
Colchester celebrates Navratri
01 Oct 09 |  Religion & Ethics

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