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Preparations for Leicester’s biggest Navaratri celebrations are well underway

Navaratri is a nine day festival of music and dance when Hindus worship the female expression of the divine. With Leicester holding a substantial Hindu population, it’s no wonder that the city leads the way with some of the biggest Navaratri celebrations outside of India. 

With city centre venue, Platinum Suite, drawing one of the biggest’s crowds, preparations are well underway to ensure their celebrations go off without a hitch between Wednesday 6th – Friday 15th October 2021. Aside from the nine nights, there will also be additional events linked to Navaratri including ‘Disco Dandiya’ taking place on Sunday 17 October 2021 – which typically attracts a younger crowd – and Sharad Poonam on Tuesday 19 October 2021. 

The festival of Navaratri, which in Sanskrit means ‘nine nights’ is celebrated every year in Leicester, however the gatherings have stalled in recent years due to pandemic restrictions. Now, after months of lockdown, Navaratri goers are keenly looking forward to a return to normality. 

Thousands of people usually gather in venues, community halls and temples across Leicester for Navratri celebrations every year, which often continue late into the night. Dance is central to the celebrations, with people dressing in brightly coloured, traditional clothing and taking part in folk dancing known as Garba and Dandiya-Ras – each performed in unison to music that is performed live.

In the case of Platinum Suite, performing at the festivities will be Rajendra Pala’s Nirmala Arts, an act coming all the way from Mumbai for the special event. The band of performers even had to complete a 10-day quarantine after landing but were determined that after missed pandemic celebrations, this year would be one to remember.

The celebrations have been organised by KDR Events and event planner Priti Raichura of PR Events will be onboard to host the evenings.

On planning the festival event amidst the pandemic, Raj Shah of KDR Events says: “The process has been difficult… there’s been obstacles but overall, it’s been absolutely amazing. With all the visa process, the quarantining, the covid tests as well… they got it done!

He is also relieved that the band were able to travel from India to perform: “For the Leicester community, this band has been performing at this venue for the past three years. It was great to have them back onboard.”

On hosting a Navaratri event for the first time, Priti Raichura says: “I feel honoured to have been asked by the organisers to host the Navaratri festival. This is one of Leicester’s biggest celebrations and I’m really looking forward to it”.

For more information about the event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/KDREvents/

By Gita Sarasia