It's one of the biggest events on the Hindu calendar and, for devotees in the central west, Dubbo has become known as the place to celebrate it.
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Between October 15 and 24, Hindus around the world observed Navaratri, a festival dedicated to the goddess Durga. Each day of the nine-night festival represents one of Durga's nine forms.
In the north-western Indian state of Gujarat, devotees celebrate through a community circle dance called Garba. And Dubbo's Gujarati community is no different, each year bringing the colourful tradition to the central west.
"Everyone in the community dances in a group, in a single rhythmic form," Harshit Amin, one of the organisers of Dubbo's Garba event, said.
"When it's celebrated in India you can't imagine what it's like unless you're there. Here it's on a much smaller scale because the community is growing."
Orana Gujrati Samaj, a local Gujarati community organisation, has been organising the Garba events in Dubbo since 2007 and they are growing bigger every year.
On Saturday, October 21, more than 175 people took part in the Garba at the Dubbo PCYC and on Saturday, October 7, over 250 people joined the dancing at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.
Mr Amin said many attendees had travelled in from other parts of the central west to attend as there were no events in their own town.
"Would you believe that we had visitors coming from Nyngan, from our community, and even Bathurst and Orange," he said.
"Because in those places they are not able to organise such an event and we have been organising it for long, so they are always keen to participate and they always say please let us know."
To perform the Garba, dancers adorned in traditional costume move in circles around a clay lantern with a light inside, representing a womb. The circular movements of the group represent the circle of time, from birth, to life, to death and to rebirth.
While it is a Hindu festival, Mr Amin said all members of the community are welcomed and no training or practice is needed to join in with the dancing.
"We are happy to accommodate anyone who comes, even Australians who want to see our culture or participate in the dancing," he said.
"I would love to see more Australians included, I would like to see the whole of Dubbo turn up and do it on a big grand scale."
The Garba at the PCYC was put on with support of ORISCON and the WayAhead Mental Health Association of NSW.
ORISCON board member Gargi Ganguly said, as well as being a whole lot of fun, participating in cultural events and physical activity can have mental health benefits.
"Our focus is cultural and community building. We know that dance and physical activity has a positive impact on the mental health of individuals long after the activity has ceased," she said.
"We hope through this activity to raise awareness of the importance of dance and physical activity as well as celebration and creation of safe spaces for friendship and fellowship."
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