Colors of Ritual- Gangaur Festival!
Fairs and festivals have been an indispensable part for people of Rajasthan. The festival of Gangaur is rejoiced in the month of Chaitra, the first month of the Hindu calendar and falls in between March and April, according to Gregorian calendar.
Know the traditional significance of Gangaur:
The preparations for this festival onsets once the women are done with performing ‘sheetlasthmai’ and on the very day, as per rituals, they sow in the seeds of ‘jowar’ i.e. sorghum; which are to be used on the 16th and the final day of Gangaur. SINJARA’ is celebrated on the eve of Gangaur.
It begins on the very first day of Chaitra month, the day after Holi and is celebrated mainly for 16 days. It marks the end of winter season and the coming of spring season. The word ‘Gangaur’ is derived from Gan which means Isarji (Lord Shiva), and Gauri (Goddess Parvati) who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried girls worship Parvati so that they are blessed with a good husband, while married women worship Parvati for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and for a happy married life.
The clay idols of Gangaur, Isarji, Kanu, Rova and Malan are made by the local potter. These are then decorated and placed in a basket with grass and flowers. For 16 days Gangaur is worshipped by unmarried girls with a desire to get a handsome, loving and noble partner, just like her!!Besides praying for a suitable match the girls pray and ask for blessings for their brothers. The women dress up adorably as the prayer goes -if you are well dressed while praying you will be granted a well dressed husband. For 16 days every morning and evening songs are sung some tell a Mahadev Gora(Parvati) story, some express wishes and some depict the fun relation of jija (brother- in- law) and sali where Mahadev or Isarji is the jija and all the female worshippers are his saalis(sister-in-law).
And finally the day of departure comes and Gangaur leaves her mother’s place with a longing and a confused heart; with some tears yet lots of happiness as on one hand her heart gets emotional for leaving her loved ones but on the other side is her love of life, waiting for her-Lord Shiva!!
Alsisar Hotels also host the grand festival of Gangaur with ‘Isar Gangaur Puja’ followed by grand procession and the fair at Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati.
This year the Gangaur procession would fall on 13th and 14th April, 2013. A grand procession of beautifully ornamented elephants, camels, horses and dancing people with joyous children & drummers carries the idol of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver a palanquin.
Gangaur Celebration at Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati
In Jaipur a grand procession is held which starts from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace which then goes through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, and Chaugan Stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. This procession is headed by a colorful show of elephants, old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performance folk artistes. People irrespective of their caste and creed come to observe and to be a part of the procession.
So if you are a pinning up options for globetrotting then this is the event that should not be missed!
“Padharo Maahre Desh”!
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