Rajasthan endows its populace with a vivid concoction of celebrations and festivals all around the year. Similar to other festivals in India, the carnivals in Rajasthan are pulsating and joyful. The Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan is one of the popular amongst the locals as well as the voyagers. Planned to be celebrated across Rajasthan on April 2nd & 3rd, 2014, it is one of the vital and extensively celebrated time-honored festivals of Rajasthan. The most prominent celebrations of Gangaur festival will take place in major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Nathdwara and Jaisalmer. In Udaipur, Gangaur overlaps one more major celebration called the Mewar Festival. Gangaur festival of Rajasthan is commemorated in admiration to Lord Shiva and deity Parvati. The name Gangaur originates from the words “Gan” (name for lord Shiva) & “Gauri” (name of Parvati). The festival focuses around women and all the ceremonies that need to be followed are observed by women. The festival is conducted in the month of “Chaitra” as per the Hindu calendar. The actual rituals of the festival begin after Holi.
Festivity and legend:
The festival commemorates the unification of Shiva & Parvati. The festival gives an opportunity for adolescent boys and girls to talk with each other. It is a complicated juncture and there are more than a few rituals connected with it. Gangaur means both Lord Shiva & Parvati. It is assumed that Parvati had revisited to her parental home at some stage in Gangaur, to sanctify her friends with matrimonial happiness. On the final day, Parvait was offered a magnificent send-off by her nearest and dearest when Lord Shiva came to escort her to their home.
The festival is mainly for girls & women. Women dress up in their most excellent attires and pray for a companion of their choice, or they pray for the wellbeing of their husbands. During the last couple of days, multicolored parades of festooned images of the divinity Gauri wind their way throughout the cities and rural, together with local bands. In Udaipur, a boat procession will be held on Lake Pichola, in addition to the fireworks. Women will poise several brass pitchers on their heads. This adds interest to the festival. The festival comes to an end with fireworks on the banks of the Lake Pichola.
Ganguar festival in Jaipur and Jodhpur:
During the early hours of Jodhpur, thousands of women wear dressy clothes, sing, and carry grass and water in pots.
In Jaipur, the ceremony and spectacle of the time-honored procession begins from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace. It continues to Tripolia Bazaar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Chaugan stadium, and lastly congregates in close proximity to the Talkatora. Chariots, Elephants, ancient palanquins, bullock carts, folk performances play a part in the festival.
The newly wedded women should fast for the entire 18 days of the Ganguar festival. Even spinster women fast during the festival and eat only 1 meal a day, in the anticipation of finding a good spouse. Gangaur is also a fortunate time of year to decide on a life partner. The Tribal men and women get the chance to meet and talk, choose their spouses, flee and get married!!!!
The last day of the festival witnesses the pictures of Gauri being carried out in a parade. This parade is accompanied by bullock carts, camels, elephants and horses. The parade is an emblem of the revisit of Gauri to her spouse’s (Shiva’s) dwelling. So as to mark the conclusion of the parade, women and girls will break their pots.
Unique festival dish:
In Jaipur, a sweet dish called “ghewar” is commonly prepared and shared amongst friends and family members. Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan is a very bright festival where the neighboring people participate and the voyagers also have so much to travel around and enjoy. So, it is a great time to Visit Rajasthan so as to go into the celebratory mood.