Gangaur Festival: India is one of the most religiously and racially varied countries globally. It is also where Hinduism began. Every year, India’s different states and religious groups enjoy many important rituals and festivals to their culture and history. Gangaur is one of these happy festivals. It is celebrated in parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. It is one of the most important and colourful festivals of the state’s people that is observed throughout the state with great faith and devotion from March to April.
Gan and Gaur are the two words that make up the word Gangaur. Gan is another word for Shiva, and Gaur for Gauri or Goddess Parvati, who represents Saubhagya (happiness in a marriage). Numerous old Hindu texts, like the Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas, describe Mata Parwati as the cosmic power of the Earth, the originator of life on Earth, and responsible for the movement of all things on the planet.
This famous festival Gangaur celebrates marital fidelity, childbearing, and harvest. On this happy day, the women of Rajasthan honour Gauri, Lord Shiva’s wife, with all their hearts. Married women enjoy this festival so that their husbands will be happy, healthy, live a long life and have a happy marriage. Single women worship Her so that she will bless them with a husband.
About Gangaur Festival
The Gangaur fair is popular all over the world. The celebration of the Gangaur festival begins on the first day of the month of Chaitra, the day following Holi, and continues for 16 days. This festival ends on the same month’s third day of Shukla Paksha.
It is usually an 18-day affair; during this time, all women are expected to observe a restricted fast with one meal a day. During the event, images or clay idols of Shiva and Gauri made by local artists are decorated and worshipped. Womenfolk decorates the idols of Gauri with new garments specially made for the occasion and make them look like living figures. Some Rajput families worship permanent wooden images of the divine couple. These images are repainted yearly before the holiday starts by well-known local painters called Matherans.
These figures are then put in baskets along with wheatgrass and flowers in the houses and worshipped daily. Wheatgrass is a big part of this much-anticipated event because it signifies harvest. Unmarried women also buy earthen pots known locally as Ghudlias and design them in a traditional Rajasthani painting.
As part of the Gangaur festival, they went out in a procession wearing traditional Rajasthani clothes and carrying Ghudilas on their heads with lit lamps inside. They walked through the streets and lanes in this way. During this 18-day festival, it is common for women to decorate their hands and feet with beautiful Mehndi (myrtle) designs. As per tradition, married women receive gift hampers from their parents, known as Sinjara, which comprises traditional clothes, jewellery, cosmetic products, and sweets.
On the last day, the statues of Gauri and Shiva are taken to a park in a long parade. Many people come forward to dance and sing traditional songs about Gauri leaving to live with her husband. The Gangaur ceremony ends when all the idols are put into a pond or well.
Story Behind Gangaur Puja
Gangaur has an interesting story, “Vrat Katha”, which tells how Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and Narad Muni visited the Earth many years ago. When they got to a nearby forest, word spread like flames that the gods had come to visit. While the women of the higher sects were busy making tasty food for the gods, the women of the lower sects brought their gifts and worshipped them. Lord Shiv, Goddess Parvati, and Narad Muni were happy to have their food, and Parwati blessed all the women by sprinkling “suhagras” on them.
After that, the food was brought by the women of the higher groups. When the gods were done eating, Lord Shiv asked His wife, Parvati, what kind of blessings she would give these women since “suhagras” are already given to lower-class women. Parvati said she would bless these groups of women with her blood. They said she scratched the tip of her finger and put her blood on these women. Since then, the women in these areas have enjoyed Gangaur Pooja day enthusiastically and passionately.
Why is the Gangaur Festival celebrated?
The married women of the village enjoy Gangaur with great enthusiasm and devotion. They pray to Gauri to give them a harvest-filled spring and peace in their marriages. They also ask the Goddess to give their husbands good health and long life. Even though this event is most important for women, single girls also participate, hoping to find a good husband. The story of Gangaur is about how Lord Shiva takes Parwati away from her parent’s home after a big goodbye. According to old texts, Parwati did serious penance for days to get Lord Shiva to marry her. He was moved by how hard she worked and how much she cared.
Significance of Gangore Festival
Devotees celebrate Gangaur with great zeal and dedication. They worship Goddess Gauri to get Her gracious gift for a harvest-filled spring and peace between husband and wife. Married women pray to the Goddess to give their husbands good luck, health, and long life. Girls who aren’t married pray to the Goddess to get married soon.
Festival’s Most Notable Events
During the Gangaur Teej celebrations, which last 18 days, there are many artistic events in all the cities and towns. Goddess Parvathi is also called the Teej Matha in many parts of Rajasthan and other places. When women get together, they share sweet treats and gifts. It feels like a party, so women wear brightly coloured clothes. During this time, the newlyweds fast for half a day and eat only one meal daily to get what they want from the Goddess Parvathi.
On the seventh day, young girls who aren’t married sing songs and carry lit clay pots on their heads. They are lucky that their parents and other adults give them nice things.
On the last day, their parents and brothers give them gifts before they go back to their husbands’ homes. This is called Sinjara, and the gifts for the daughter and her family may include jewellery, clothes, and other things.
On the last day of the fair, all of the celebrations end. In a parade, the idols of the Gods are taken to a public place, a lake, or a well for Visarjan, which means “immersion.” Some people might be able to do it at home if they have the right tools.
Tourists can enjoy the fair atmosphere, which includes good shopping and food. There will be a lot of delicious food everywhere, including the famous sweets from Rajasthan. Ghevar is one of the most popular sweets in Rajasthan, and this festival is a great time to try it. The people here are nice, so you’ll have a good time.
People who want to see old Indian culture and festivals in different parts of the country should go to Rajasthan during the Gangaur celebrations. You can count on redBus to take care of your most important needs, like booking flights, hotels, and trips within your city. You can buy tickets and hotel rooms through the redBus app or the redBus website in India.
Best Place to Celebrate Gangore Festival – Jaipur
Indeed, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is one of the best locations to commemorate the Gangaur Festival. Gangaur is an important and lively festival celebrated by the women of Rajasthan in honour of the Goddess Gauri, who represents marital happiness and fertility.
Summary – Gangaur, A Festival in Rajasthan
Gangaur is an important and colourful event for the people of Rajasthan. It is held all over the state to honour Goddess Gauri, a form of Shakti. The women of Central and Western India, especially in Rajasthan, enjoy this happy festival with big ceremonies. The old event is celebrated in different parts of Rajasthan with different rituals and customs. People from all over the world come to this event to see this famous festival. Gangaur mela, or fairs, are held in this state’s big cities so that locals and visitors can have fun.
At the end of the ceremony, there is a big event. On that day, women carry beautiful statues of Shiva and Gauri on their heads in a grand procession. During this time of celebration, they only eat one meal daily and pray to the gods with a clean heart so their husbands will be happy, healthy, and live long lives.