Hudo is another dance performed at the Tarnetar fair where girls choose their husbands. Tarnetar is a small village in the Sourashtra region of Gujrat. Tarnetar is a colloquial derivative of Trinetreshwar (god with three eyes), an aspect of Lord Shiva, who is enshrined in the temple at the village. Every year on Rishi Panchami that falls on the fifth lunar day (tithi) of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwina, corresponding to August/ September, the three day Tarnetar fair begins. A legend is associated with the fair which is as follows : Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata, was the winner in the archery competition held at this place. It was declared that the archer who can pierce the eye of a fish hanging from a very tall pole without looking at the fish but looking at its reflection in the pool of water around the pole, will be chosen by Draupadi as her husband. Only Arjuna could perform this near impossible feat of archery for which Draupadi chose him as her husband. This event is commemorated every year by holding the fair where girls choose their respective husbands. The young men who wish to be chosen by the girls, come with colorful and beautifully embroidered umbrellas. They also wear an equally colorful embroidered jacket . After choosing the husbands the boys and girls perform Hudo. The girls form a Line and the boys form their line. The two lines of dancers face each other and dance to the music provided by drums, flutes, and other folk musical instruments. The tempo is usually faster and while dancing the girls clap on the palms of the boys with both their palms. The marriage is formalized later.
The Dandia Rasa dance of Gujarat is performed as an essential part of festivals synchronized with different agricultural operations like sowing and harvesting. Dandia Rasa is danced only by men. Its counterpart is Garba which is danced only by women. It is believed that Dandia Rasa was originated by Krishna. Several kinds of Rasa dances are prevalent in Gujarat and Sourashtra regions. All are associated with Krishna legend. These Rasa dances are totally different from the Rasa dances of Manipur, which are highly stylized and are considered classical. Dandia is an epithet because in this Rasa dance the dancers hold two wooden sticks in both their hands. While dancing they rhythmically strike not only the two sticks but also strike the sticks held by other dancers who are either in front or at the sides. Often jingle bells (ghungroos) are tied to one end of each stick. When the sticks are struck the jingling sound enhances the percussion music. The dancers wear typical costume which consists of a white frock coat called Kadiya. It is colorfully embroidered with local motifs of sun, moon, peacock, etc. The chorni is like churidar-pyjama. It is also white. The dancers cover their heads with turbans. The dancers sing while dancing and the percussion music is provided by drums and cymbals.
In the Dang region of Gujarat, where majority of people belong to tribal communities, the ceremonial dance named Kahadia is performed to express gratitude and reverence to God for having enabled them to perform the dance successfully. The dance is named after the musical instrument Kahadi which provides the melodic inspiration for the dance. It is a woodwind instrument with double beating reed and a conical bore, much like Shehnai. A longer reeded pipe but without fingerholes, called Sur, provides drone on the tonic, and is an inseparable companion to the kahadi. It is traditionally performed in six different movements and the last but one is the most spectacular, as the dancers, with the skill of acrobats, form a human pyramid while dancing. In the last movement the dancers offer their gratitude to God. Percussion music for the dance is provided by Dholak, a barrel-shaped drum, and Khanjari, a circular frame-drum.
One of the interesting ceremonial dances is Garba of Gujarat. It is performed on the occasion of Navaratra, a religious ceremony deeply influenced by Tantrism. Navaratra is observed with great solemnity, especially in Gujrat, before Diwali in the lunar month of Kartik, corresponding to October/November. During this religious observance the women folk of Gujarat perform Garba, derived from the word ‘Garbha’, meaning the womb. A clarried-buttet-fed pradeep (lamp) is put inside an earthen pitcher with holes all around it. This pitcher with the lamp inside it symbolizes the womb of the mother goddess charged with creative energy and the lamp signifies the seed of creation. This pitcher with the lamp is called garbi. It is placed inside a decorated wooden structure called mandavi. One or two girls each carrying on her head the mandavi with the garbi and followed by the other dancers go from house to house. On reaching the premises of a household the mandavi is put on the ground and the dancers
dance around it. While dancing they sing garba songs which were written long long ago. The percussion music is provided by the drum called dholak. Garba songs are tuneful and the dancing is fascinatingly lyrical. There are various kinds of Garba which are danced by girls of every caste and community.
The men folk of Gujarat perform Raas dances on this occasion. Basically, however, Raas dances are connected with agricultural operations.