Gangaur Festival, Jaipur

Gangaur Festival, JaipurGangaur Festival occupies an important place in the hearts of Rajasthanis and especially the womenfolk. It is devoted to Gauri, the symbol of abundance, fertility and fidelity and his consort Lord Shiva. She is also a mythological role model for the Indian women. The festival is celebrated with sheer passion in the months of July-August. Marking the arrival of monsoon and harvest, the festival is a celebration of marital fidelity. It begins on the day of Holi (a festival of colors) and continues to the next nine days. The celebration can be seen in various cities of Rajasthan especially Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer. However, the celebrations at Jaipur and Udaipur are packed with abundant excitement and enjoyment.

According to the faith of the Rajasthani people if spinsters perform the rituals on the festival they will get married to a person of their choice. And also the man's heart will be instilled with the virtues of Lord Shiva and they will enjoy marital bliss for the entire life. The womenfolk dress up in their best and also apply mehandi(henna) in their hands. The people of Rajasthan celebrate this festival with a famous Rajasthani sweet named Ghever.

Married and unmarried women worship the idols of Gauri and Isar and dress them beautifully in new clothes and jewelry. Then the procession is taken out in the streets. The town band adds more flavor to the procession by playing melodious music. Thousands of devotees from far and wide join in the procession. The decorated idols are placed on the heads of married women and they keep taking turns during the procession. This procession marks the departure of Gauri to her husband's place and then she is brought back. On the final day of the festival the last procession is taken out but this time both the idols are consigned to the waters of a tank or a well. This is the end of the Gangaur Festival.


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