What is Gangaur festival? – It is a vibrant and joyful festival celebrated in Rajasthan, India. The festival is celebrated everywhere with a little or large population of the Marwari community. The Gangaur festival in Rajasthan has a special place in Jaipur’s tourist circuit.
Gangaur Festival History
It’s a festival of marital bliss or Saubhagya. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva blessed Goddess Parvati his wife with saubhagya and Goddess Parvati blessed women with marital bliss.
It has been celebrated in the whole of Rajasthan from prehistoric times and religious processions are carried out on the eve of Gangaur in major cities like Jaipur and Udaipur.
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When is Gangaur celebrated?
It is celebrated in March April month just after Holi and it commences after the 16th day of rituals. According to the Hindu calendar Gangaur festival is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month.
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This year, Gangaur Festival in 2020 will be celebrated from 10 March 2020 to 27 March 2020.
What does Gangaur mean?
Gana in Sanskrit means people and Gaur symbolizes Gauri, Goddess Paravati.
Here Gangaur means the devotion of people towards Gauri and Lord Shiva as the festival is celebrated in every household.
What is the religious significance of the Gangaur Festival?
It is a festival of marital bliss. Unmarried girls follow rituals for 16 days and worship Gangaur for being blessed with a good husband.
Married women celebrate it for long life and prosperity of their husbands. It is necessary for newlywed women to worship in the first year of their marriage in Rajasthan.
How is the Gangaur Festival celebrated?
- On the next day of the Holi festival, girls and women make Isar (Shiva) and Gangaur (Paravati) from the mud of ponds the mud statues are established with full rituals at a place in any home of the neighbourhood.
- Isar and Gangaur are dressed in beautiful clothes and are worshiped using flowers, water, and grass.
- For 16 days ladies sing melodious songs of devotion and worship Shiva Parvati in the early morning for prosperous and happier married life.
- Ladies get ready in traditional Rajasthani clothes and ornaments.
- Newlywed girls have to wear a red Chunri (a scarf meant for happy married life).
- In the morning Isar and Gangaur are worshipped, in the evening they are offered water and delicacies.
- Ladies dress younger girls as Dulha Dulhan (Bride and Groom) on the 8th day. The fest commences on the 16th day.
- On the 16th day, Isar Paravati are taken out in the form of a religious procession. Women wear colorful clothes and sing devotional songs in the procession.
Then Isar and Paravati are immersed in water bodies.
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Gangaur Celebration in Jaipur
Celebrations in Jaipur are world–famous for its fair and royal procession. Gangaur ki Sawari or Ride of Gangaur processions start from Zenana Deodhi of City Palace where the royal family members worship Shiv and Parvati.
Then it ends as a fair near Talkatora traveling through Tripolia Bazar, Choti Chaupad and Gangauri Bazar. Local artists perform dances in front of the procession, Men wearing colorful turbans or Pagdi and ladies wearing traditional Indian colorful dresses from nearby villages also come to be a witness of the carnival.
The best spots to see and click pictures of vibrant Gangaur Mela are in Tripolia Bazar of the walled city. Sitting arrangements are made on the roof of the verandah of the market.
After the fair people go to visit relatives and friends and eat treats. An evening before, ladies and girls get Mehandi designs on their hands and legs as a custom.
Gangaur Festival Recipes-Food
It is a custom to eat and distribute Jaipur’s traditional sweet Ghevar. People eat ghevar and gift them to their sisters and daughters on the eve.
Where to buy the best Ghevar in Jaipur?
Since Ghevar is mostly used during Gangaur Puja and Celebration, so here are the best picks of restaurants from my side.
- Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar, Jouhari Bazar
- Sodhani Sweets, Tonk Road
- Sambhar Feeni, Jouhari Bazar
- Bombay Mishthan Bhandar, Sanganeri Gate
- Kanji Sweets, Station Road
- Sweet House, Kishanpole Bazar
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