Amdavad, at present, is draped in myriad hues. Why, it’s the Navratri season, and Amdavadis are spilling onto the streets shopping for the nine nights. Organisers are burning the midnight oil, and their coffers, to set up the most glittering garba venues to dance the nights away.
But there prevails a confusion: Is Navratri this year a regular nine-night affair, or a eight-day one; for, Navratri begins on October 5 and Dussehra (10th day) has been earmarked on October 13 – leaving only eight nights of festivities.
Many believe the missing ninth day of Navratri has become ‘kshaya’ or invisible, with Dussehra immediately following the eighth day. “In accordance with the Hindu calendar, the tithi (date) for Navami (ninth day) gets over at 1.17pm on October 13, after which Dashmi (Dussehra) will commence. As per tithi, Dussehra will be celebrated on October 13,” said Pankaj Nagar, a city-based astrologer. The first day of Navratri begins at 5.03am on October 5 and culminates at 3.40am on October 6.
Nagar’s colleague, Maulik Bhatt, explains the variance in detail.
“Technically (as per the Hindu calendar), it’s a nine-night Navratri, but it’s kind of a relay effect,” said Bhatt. “Paacham (fifth day) will culminate at 10pm on October 9, and Aatham (eighth day) will end at 3.28pm on October 12.
Similarly, the ninth day with conclude at 1.17pm on October 13, following which the tithi for Dashmi (Dussehra) will begin,” he explained. The Tithi for Dashmi will end at 11.15am on October 14, but for people’s convenience of conducting the Dussehra puja, panchang has stated October 13 as Dussehra.
But one-day reduced wouldn’t have much of an impact on Garba revelry in Ahmedabad and Gujarat. “We are organising a complete, nine-day celebration. Since October 13 falls on Sunday, many people are turn up for the celebrations. We will organise Garba on that day,” said Arvind Singh, business head of the event management firm at Rajpath Club.