Dhunuchi Dance In Dussehra
The Bengali community celebrates this festival with great devotion as Durga Ma for them corresponds to the incarnation of the Shakti, the divine eternal female god that rules the cosmic creation. The goddess defeated the demon Mahishasura who had created havoc in the heaven and earth.
The Bengali community welcomes the incredible Goddess of Durga with the loud chants of “Jai Durga” and ululation. The idols of Durga that are brought to the pandals are just enchanting with the goddess sitting on the lion with several types of weapons in her hands which signifies the victory of the good over evil.
In this celebration, a unique dance form that is famous in the West Bengal is the Dhunuchi Dance. This dance is performed by the devotees while worshipping the Goddess Durga in order to please the goddess. The musical beats of the Dhak create a very lively atmosphere and add grace to the dance. The dance performance is done in the evening Aarti in the Shashthi Tithi. The devotees that perform the Dhunuchi dance are known as Dhanucchis. The Dhanucchis who perform this dance balance an earthen bowl that contains burning incense on their forehead, hand, or by mouth.
The dance form got the name Dhunuchi as the performance is done with the Dhunachi which is an incense burner that is used in the native India for doing Aarti. The shape of the Dhunachi is flared with a large cavity at the top and is held by the stem. As the Dhunachi needs to be held for longer durations they are made of clay so that it provides heat insulation. In the Dhunachi, burning coals are placed at the bottom and on top coconut husk is placed on which incense is scattered.
In many of the pandals, Dhunuchi competitions are held where the dancers perform the Dhunuchi dance with great elegance. Their swift hand movements on the beats of the Dhak make the atmosphere mesmerizing and there are some participants that have Dhunuchi held between their teeth.