THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Every year during Navaratri, the capital city is soaked in a festive mood with dance, drama, music recitals and different kinds of competitions. Cultural organisations such as Trivandrum Bengalee Association and the Trivandrum Gujarati Samaj also bring in the feel of the Durga Puja and Navaratri with a host of cultural programmes by veterans and other talents.
This year, the city is on a festive mood as the idol of goddess Saraswati has been brought from Padmanabhapuram Palace to the Navaratri mandapam of the Sree Padmanabhaswami temple. However, this is the second consecutive year that the the festival is conducted in a low-key manner. It is also the time of the year when various venues in the city are abuzz with cultural activities. However, due to the pandemic, festivals in temples and other events have been suspended.
The Navaratri mandapam at East Fort usually becomes a venue for music recitals which are held during the evenings. This year, all the events that used to start from October 7 and go on till October 15 have been suspended. Similarly, Dandiya and Garba — the traditional dances from Gujarat and Rajasthan — are also cancelled this year.
“Garba and dandiya during Navaratri have been a norm within the Gujarati community. Before the pandemic, we used to dress up in colourful attires and dance. But this year, no such programme has been planned,” says Khushi Patel, a member of the Gujarati community.
Meanwhile, the Trivandrum Bengalee association is planning to conduct the Navaratri and Durga Puja celebrations online. “Since there are restrictions on gatherings, we are conducting events such as dance, music and other programmes online,” said Amarnath Nandi, president of Trivandrum Bengalee Association. Travancore Navaratri Festival Trust is also organising a host of programmes both offline and online till October 16.