Navratri is a beautiful Indian festival celebrated in the beginning of autumn, a time when nature transforms for new beginnings to rejuvenate our minds and let go of the old. The annual Hindu festival is observed in honor of the Mother Goddess Durga. It spans nine nights, this year from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5. It will be followed by Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. This year’s festival begins Oct. 24, usually lasting five days. Many school districts will be closed this year in observance of Diwali. The holidays are filled with family, traditions, food and LOTS of dancing. See where your community is celebrating this year:
Garba/Dandiya Dance Workshop
Don’t know how to dance Garba? No problem! Bansari Dance, in partnership with The Art of Living Foundation, will present a free virtual workshop to teach you the steps to the authentic Indian dance form called Garba.
September 30 – October 1
Navratri Garba 2022
South Brunswick High School, South Brunswick
Get ready to dance well into the early hours! Indo-American Cultural Foundation of New Jersey presents South Brunswick Navratri Garba 2022. Until 1:30 am, there will be living singing and music by Entertainment Unlimited, Mahesh Mehta and Rekha Rawal. There will be Raas, Garba, Ramzat and Sanedo.
September 30; October 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15
New Jersey Expo & Convention Center, Edison
Choose from any of three weekends to dance the night away.
Navratri Raas Garba
Park Avenue School, Freehold
The Art of Living brings you Dance for a Cause with a Garba dance festival event. The benefit is for Care for Children, an initiative supporting holistic education in India to over 43,000 students in over 420 schools. The party starts at 6 pm and continues into the night.
October 7, 8, 14 and 15
Garba – Dandiya Night
Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus
Join Kirtidan Gadhiv for two nights of dancing, great food and lots of fun Oct. 7 – 8. Parthiv Gohil and Santvan Trivedi lead the party Oct. 14 and 15.
October 7 – 9
A Journey Through Asia
Bridgewater Commons, Bridgewater
This cultural dance and art exhibit promotes the works of artists from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Nepal. There will be dance presentations followed by post-dance instruction, plus a painting exhibition that benefits The Pink Foundation which supports orphaned and vulnerable girls in India.
West Lake Gazebo, Robbinsville
Celebrate heritage with a cultural showcase and colorful performances during Robbinsville’s second annual Diwali Parade. There will be DJ music, food stalls and vendor booths. The parade was postponed from Oct. 1 due to the remnants of Hurricane Ian.
Exchange Place 9/11 Memorial, Jersey City
Emcees Jyotsna Sharma and Kulraaj Anand will lead a day filled with live music, Dandiya Raas, cultural programs, children’s activities, food, decor and Indian clothing.
Buchmuller Park, Secaucus
This 12th annual Festival of Lights will feature cultural performances, Indian cuisine, live entertainment, kids’ activities and door prizes. And the best part is, it’s free!
Dandiya Dhamaka 2022
Secaucus Rec Center, Secaucus
Be part of the atmosphere of Dadiya Raas where you’ll dance on one of the biggest dance floors on the East Coast. There will be live bands, food trucks and prizes.
Dilwalo ki Diwali: Family-Friendly Cruise Party
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City
Sail the Hudson River while enjoying Bollywood DJs, entertainment, Indian food, a photo booth, kids’ activities and giveaways.
Diwali Lunch Buffet
Persis Indian Grill, Monroe
Animit Bhattacharya will sing live during this special holiday buffet.
Diwali: The Festival of Lights
Robbinsville Senior Center, Robbinsville
Robbinsville seniors can celebrate the holiday.