Gangaur is one of the most vibrant and popular festivals of Rajasthan. It is the celebration of love and marriage that is observed by womenfolk to honor Goddess of Shakti (Gauri), the consort of Lord shiva.
Goddess Gauri is regarded as the epitome of purity and is considered as a deity of fertility, love, beauty and marriage. During Gangaur Pooja, married women worship Goddess to bless their husbands with good health and long life while unmarried women seek her blessings for getting a good and understanding life partner.
When is Gangaur?
Gangaur festival is celebrated for 18 days in the month of Chaitra ( as per Hindu Calendar). It begins from the following day of Holi and ends on the third day of Shukla Paksha of the same month. This year, the main celebration of Gangaur 2020 will be celebrated on Friday, 27 March, 2020.
Why is Gangaur celebrated?
Gangaur symbolizes marital bliss and the arrival of spring. Literally, it comprises two words “Gan” and “Gaur” where Gan refers to Lord Shiva and Gaur represents Goddess Parvati or Gauri. According to legends associated with Gangaur festival, Goddess Parvati performed severe penance to marry Lord Shiva. Impressed by her dedication and devotion Lord Shiva married Goddess Gauri. Later, she returned her parental home during Gangaur and blessed her friends with marital bliss. She stayed for 18 days in her parental home and on the last day Lord Shiva escorted her home in a grand farewell, given by her family and friends.
Beginning Date of Chaitra Navratri.
What are the Gangaur Rituals?
Gangaur rituals are performed by women with great vigour and devotion. Here is the glimpse of rituals that are performed during Gangaur Teej celebration.
- During Gangaur, people build or buy the clay idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. They decorate them with beautiful clothes and jewellery and place them in a basket filled with grass and flowers. In some Rajput families, before the festival, wooden idols are made which are later painted by the famous painters called “Matherans”. These idols don’t possess canopies.
- As Gangaur is also a festival of harvest, Wheat is considered as the most important part of its ritual. Wheat is sown in small earthen pots called Kunda and the wheat grass is used on the last day for worship of Goddess Gauri.
- Earthen Water pots are decorated with traditional Rajsathani painting called Mandala.
- Both Married and Unmarried women keep fast and worship Goddess Gauri for 18 days.
- On the seventh day, unmarried women carry “Ghudilas” (clay pots with lamp burning inside it) on their head. They sing traditional Gangaur songs and receive gifts from their elders.
- The seventeenth day of Gangaur festival is known as “Sinjara”. On this day, people send sweets, jewellery, clothes, gifts and other items to their married daughters. Later, the women dress up in these same items and apply Henna or Mehndi on their feet and palms.
- On the last day, women break Ghudilas and submerge the idols of Gauri in the water. A grand procession takes place in the areas and at some parts royal families also take part in this wonderful celebration.
How is Gangaur Celebrated in Rajasthan?
Gangaur reflects the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan and its rituals are not much different. It shows the colorful aspects of the state and brings the festivity of spring more lucid. Various fairs are held and grand street processions take place in places like Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Nathdwara and Jodhpur. Here is the glance over Gangaur celebrations in Rajasthan.
First day of Chaitra month is also celebrated as Ugadi festival.
1. Gangaur Celebrations In Jaipur
Jaipur Gangaur celebration is one of the most vivid and mesmerising events of Rajasthan. Here,a great street procession is held on the last day of Gangaur which starts from City Palace’s Zanani Deodhi and passess through Tripolia bazaar, Ganguari Bazaar, Choti Chaupar and Chaugan Stadium to end at Talkatora. In this procession, a great idol of Lord Gauri is taken in palanquins, surrounded with many elephants, bullock carts and chariots. Women carry several pitchers on their head and worship Goddess Gauri. In the evening, folk dance and music is performed.
Know about the Gudi padwa celebration in maharashtra.
2. Gangaur Celebrations In Udaipur
In Udaipur, Gangaur festival is celebrated on the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichola. The traditional procession is commenced by the royal family in the premises of City Palace and then passed through every part of the city. As per tradition, the royal family used to visit their people on Gangaur. They come in a boat with Gangaur idols and meet their people who are waiting on the other side of shore. People dance and make merry. Later, the idol is submerged in the ghat with great fireworks decorating the sky.
3. Gangaur Celebrations In Jodhpur
Gangaur Teej Festival is known as “Dhinga Gavar” in Jodhpur. Here, the locals worship Lord Dhinga Gavar instead of Goddess Gauri and consider her as a form of Lord Shakti. They build idols of Lord Dhinga Gavar and worship it for 16 days. On the last day, a grand procession takes place through the markets and main areas of the city. Idols are decorated with Gold jewellery and are offered dry fruits. As per a tradition, on gangaur, married women of Pushkarna Brahim families beat unmarried men with a stick in order to seek marital bliss in their future.
4. Gangaur Celebrations In Jaisalmer
In the dunes of Jaisalmer, watching a Gangaur celebration is more fun and exciting. Here, like the other Gangaur celebrations in Rajasthan, street processions are held and people enjoy fancy dress, folk dances and music in the evening. The folk songs performed by the professional artists are the main attraction of Jaisalmer Gangaur Teej festival.
5. Gangaur Celebrations In Bikaner
The mesmerizing procession of Bikaner Gangaur Teej celebration starts from Junagarh fort. Here, the festival is celebrated for 18 days and on the last day various fairs, folk dances and music performances are enjoyed by the local people. The famous Gangaur celebration in Bikaner is Gangaur of Chandmal Dhadha. As per Gangaur festival history, this procession has been taking place in Bikaner for more than 100 years. The main significance of this procession is the legs of the Gangaur idol which is usually not visible in the other Gangaur idol processions.