When you enter a Durga Puja pandal in the evening, the sounds of dhak, the smell of incense sticks and fragrant smoke fill up your surroundings. While Durga Puja is incomplete with all these things, one thing definitely sums up the whole essence of this festival is the iconic Dhunuchi Naach (dance).
Dhunuchi Naach is a dance that is performed during the evening Durga aarti where the dancers decked up in colourful clothes balance clay bowls filled up with coconut husks, burning charcoal and powdered incense in both their hands and mouth. The sight is spectacular as the dancers dance to the beats of the dhak.
Also, you will be glued to their performances as you think that the dhunuchi will fall from their mouth or hands but the dancers perform with so much grace and flexibility that you can’t help but be mesmerized.
What is Dhunuchi Naach?
Dhanuchi naach is a devotional dance performed during Durga puja and it is a tradition in Bengal. It is performed balancing dhunuchis (bowls) filled with coconut husks, charcoal and powdered incense and camphor often called as dhuno.
Dhuno is the Indian equivalent of frankincense, a plant resin of sal tree and the dhunuchi is a flared shaped earthen pot which is used to light the mixture. The aroma which comes from it is regarded as holy and is believed to have a purifying effect.
This dance is performed to thank the Goddess and it was previously only a men-affair but now women also actively participate in this dance. This dance has travelled so far and wide that competitions are now held to pick out the best dhunuchi dance performer in many states and people participate in it with great enthusiasm.
The grandeur of this dance pulls many festival revellers in puja pandals and it is enjoyed by people as it feels like you are in an edge. It is performed in the eighth night of Navratri festival.
So, the next time you witness a Dhanuchi Naach, dance-along and feel the euphoria of Durga Puja.
Photo credit: Twitter