Gangaur Festival in Jaipur, Gangaur Festival in Jaipur Rajasthan
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Rajasthan Tours Travel  »  Festivals of Rajasthan  »  Gangaur Festival - Jaipur

Gangaur Festival - Jaipur

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About the Festival
Rajasthan has a rich and glorious culture and many of its ancient and beautiful traditions are carried out to this day in all their pomp and show. One such traditional festival is the Gangaur. Derived from the two words 'Gan' a synonym of Siva and 'Gauri' of his consort Parvathi, the festival is celebrated mainly by women. During this time they worship Gauri as a symbol of virtue, fidelity and the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love. Unmarried women ask to be blessed with good husbands, while married women pray for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married life.

Prayer & Celebration
Ladies of Royal Family Going towards Festival Place Gangaur is celebrated in a charmingly quaint manner, it begins with women collecting ashes from the Holika Dahan (the fire in which Holika is symbolically burned, the night before the festival of Holi). In these ashes women plant seeds of wheat and barley. Throughout the 18 day festival these seeds are watered and the small blades of grass that grow are gently nurtured. On the final day of the festival this grass is used in the prayer ceremony. Throughout the eighteen days bejewelled effigies of the divine gods are put on display in the prayer halls or even living rooms of most homes and women dressed in their best gather together to chant litanies, sing songs and dance. Another ritual, strictly followed is the that of observing a fast for the duration of the festival, women and girls eat only one meal for these 18 days.

On the evening of the seventh day after Holi, unmarried girls decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with mehendi (myrtle paste). They then go around singing songs of ghudlia ( ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them) carrying the pots on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. This continues for ten days, upto the conclusion of the Gangaur Festival. The last three days of the festival are truly vibrant, colourfully bedecked images of Gauri are taken out in procession through the city streets accompanied by dancers, drummers, joyous children, camels, bullock carts, horses and elephants, decorated in traditional finery. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband's house. The procession concludes with the girls breaking their pots and throwing all the consignment into a tank or a pond. A grand feast marks the end of the festival. Sweets are prepared throughout the festival and offered to Goddess Parvati. The light and deliciously sugary Ghewar is the most popular sweet served during this festival. It is also distributed among family and friends during the festival.

Gangaur Festival - JaipurThe last day of the festival is considered a very auspicious day on which to get married so according to a quaint tradition the eligible boys and girls of the Girasia tribe of Mount Abu are allowed to interact freely, choose a life partner and strangely enough even encouraged to elope, in fact eloping is the only option for those of the tribe wanting to get married on this day.

Where to Watch
Though celebrated throughout Rajasthan, the festival is a treat to watch in Jaipur and Udaipur. The festival is celebrated with much fanfare in Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer also. The procession to Pichola Lake is the highlight of the Gangaur festival in Udaipur whereas the city of Jaipur wears a festive look the entire time, its shops and streets are beautifully decorated.

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