PICTURES: Navaratri festival
The Hindu community in Chichester and the surrounding areas celebrated at an auspicious Navaratri festival.
Organised by Chichester Vedic Cultural Society, the festival was held at Donnington Parish Hall last Sunday.
Navaratri is a popular Indian festival which signifies the win of good spirit over evils.
Navaratri means nine nights. During these nine days, and night, Hindus worship Goddess Durga, who is the Goddess of power and energy.
The festival started with chanting of mantras. Devotees circled around the deity and offered their prayers.
Volunteers from the society, including co-organisers Mr Singh and Deb Chakraborty, explained the need for communal harmony and cultural integration.
Chichester mayor Peter Evans gave a short speech, showing appreciation for the lively cultural celebration, and later presented certificates and gifts to the performers.
James Cooper, priest-in-charge at Donnington, said it was important to ‘be good’ and ‘do good’ and pointed out the same slogan written in the organisers’ banner.
Mr Singh said: “The festive mood of the event was ignited by the mesmerising performance of little children displaying Indian classical dance of Bharat Natyam.
“That was followed by dance performed by the elder members’ of Ms Vidya Thirunarayan’s dance school. Eminent Indian classical and Bollywood singer Mr Rahi Bain performed bhajanas, a kind of Indian classical song.”
The children were kept occupied with face painting stalls and henna decoration and the festival ended with mouth-watering food served by volunteers.