SARIS swirled and guests danced to the beat as they celebrated a nine day Hindu festival.

The Hindu festival of Navratri has been taking place all over Harrow, organised by the Gujarati community in schools and community halls to bring together the young and the old for more than a week of fun and friendship.

Thousands of people joined members of the International Siddhashram Shakti Centre (ISSC) and Shri RajRajeshwar Guruji at Harrow Leisure Centre over the last week to enjoy traditional Gujarati dances known as Garba and Dandiya.

During the first three nights, worshippers dedicate their prayers to the Goddess Durga while the next three days are devoted to Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth.

The final three days are dedicated to worshiping Sarasvati, the Goddess of wisdom.

Navratri literally translates as ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit language and is held to celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, the buffalo headed demon which she fought for nine days and nine nights before emerging victorious on the tenth day.