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Home :: Fairs & Festivals of India :: Gangaur Festival

Gangaur Festival

Gangaur FestivalQuick Facts
Celebrated in : Rajasthan
Festival Time : March
Celebrated in : All Over Rajasthan.
Deity : Consort of Lord Shiva
Highlights : Devotion of Womenfolk and Grand Celebrations

Gangaur Festival - A Festivity of Women
The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk during the months of July and August. During this festival, Goddess Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva is worshipped. The festival marks the celebration of monsoon, harvest and marital fidelity in Jaipur. This festival of Rajasthan is synonymous with Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married life.
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The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 18 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of 18 days and eat only one meal a day. The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with mehendi (myrtle paste). Ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia carrying the pots with a burning lamp inside, on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. This continues for 10 days i.e. upto the conclusion of the Gangaur Festival when the girls break their pots and throw the debris into a well or a tank and enjoy a feast with the collections made.

Gangaur FestivalThough celebrated throughout Rajasthan, the festival is a treat to watch in Jaipur and Udaipur. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer also. The procession to Pichola Lake is the spotlight of the Gangaur festival in Udaipur whereas the city of Jaipur wears a festive look all the time. The shops, houses and streets are beautifully decorated during this festival. The fair of 'lotias' is a distinctive feature of the Gangaur celebrations in Jodhpur. In Nathdwara, the procession of Gangaur lasts 7 days. The Girasia tribe, who live in Sirohi-Mount Abu region, celebrate Gangaur as a prolongation of festivities from Holi to Akshaya Tritiya - lasting for more than a month. In Banswara, the procession is taken out from the Zenana Deorhi to Singhvashi Chowk, both are areas within the palace compound. So, in this way its celebrated differently in various parts of Rajasthan.

Holding a special meaning to the Rajasthanis, this festivity is celebrated in honour of Gauri, the goddess of abundance. Young girls embellished in their best clothes pray for a spouse of their choice. The married ladies pray for the welfare and long-life of their husbands. Singing and dancing is the main part of the festival. Girls worship the goddess right through the fortnight.
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Another unique thing about this festival is that on this occasion, tribal men and women have an opportunity to meet and interact freely and during this time, they choose partners and marry by eloping. In fact, running away is the only option for those of the tribe wanting to get married on this day.

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