Gangaur festival begins in the first week of Chaitr and continues up to the fourth day of the bright half of the month. 'Gan' is a synonym of Siva and 'Gauri' of his consort, Parvathi who symbolizes married bliss. This festival is an ideal time for married and young girls to express their devotion for a smooth marital life.
The first important ritual of the festival is the collecting of ashes from the Holi fire and burying seeds of wheat and barley in it. These are watered every day until they germinate. The ritual is performed with songs of Isar and Gauri (Shiva and Parvathi) and the varying of pots of water on the head. A week after Holi, women bring clay and make images of Gauri and Isar. The rituals in honor of the goddess are colorful, with the singing of the most beautiful songs in praise of her and her consort.
This Festival is celebrated throughout Rajasthan with great enthusiasm. Mehndi is applied by the devotees on the palms of their hands. Singing and dancing are an essential part of the festival. Girls worship the goddess throughout the fortnight. Colorful images of Gauri, beautifully dressed and bejeweled, are taken out in a procession accompanied by the town band.
Gangaur is a religious festival that reflects the excellent cultural heritage of Rajasthan. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Marathwara and Jaisalmer. It is also observed in some place of Gujarat. In Bengal, more particularly at Nabadwip and Santipur, and in Orissa, a similar ritual, called Doljatra, is observed by followers of the Vishnu cult.Other Related Festivals