Shortly after I arrived in India, the nine day Hindu festival Navratri began! There seems to be a variety of versions of the story behind Navratri, but the version that my Hindi teacher told me is that the demon king Ravana had abducted Lord Rama's wife, Sita. After nine days, Lord Rama defeated Ravana and rescued Sita, and so Navratri celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
A traditional stick dance called Garba, or Dandiya here in Rajasthan, is played at night for the nine days. I played dandiya at a public gathering for three of the nights, including the last night, which is of course the most festive! Here is a video of me and two of the other girls in my program playing dandiya.
Click Pic to Play Video