: All over Rajasthan.
: Gauri, Consort of Lord Shiva.
Time of Celebration :
Ishar & Gangaur are the divine male and female ho embody marital love. Dedicated to goddess Gauri (Parvati), the festival commences on Holi/ Young girls pray for rooms of their choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands.
The ladies decorate their hands and feet )y drawing designs with Mehendi (Myrtle Jaste).
On the evening of the 7th day after -ioli, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia (earthern pots with numerous holes all around with a lamp lit aside) carrying the pots on their hands. )n their way they collect small presents ,f cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The women do these while chanting hymns to the Goddess.
Festivities continue for 18 days culminating with the arrival of Lord Shiva to escort his bride home. A grand process Ion with the ideal of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver a palanquin caparisoned elephants, camels, horses, dances, drummers & joyous children, goes through the city streets. In Jaipur procession forms at the Palace Gate known as Tripolia and moves on the city streets on to Talkatora.
A vast gathering of jaipurites & villagers from nearby areas witness the procession. A sweet dish called Ghewar characteristic of the Gangaur festival is distributed among friends & relatives. In Jodhpur early in the morning thousands of maidens, clad in their best attire, singing melodious songs, bring water and durba grass in silver or brass pots to a place known as Girdikot.
Udaipur the images of Isar & Gauri are taken in aprocession to the Pichola lake there after in a boat for an hour they go around the lake and the ceremony comes to an end with a display of fireworks on the banks. The Girasia tribe eligible boys & girls in Sirohi, Mount Abu region during Gangaur festival select their life partners & elope with them. This form of marriage has the sanction of the community.
The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 18 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of 18 days and eat only one meal a day.
GANGAUR FESTIVITIES AT VARIOUS PLACES
In Bikaner, married women and maidens fast during the festival. They prepare sweet dishes, carry them to a well, make an offering thereof to the goddess, and return home distributing these as 'prasad' on the way.
In Jaipur, a sweet dish called 'ghewar' is characteristic of the Gangaur Festival. People buy 'ghewar' to eat and distribute it among their friends and relatives. A procession, with the image of Gauri, forms at the Palace Gate known as Tripolia and moves on the city streets passing Chaugan and on to Talkatora. A vast gathering of the citizens of Jaipur and villagers from nearby areas witnesses the procession.
The fair of 'lotias' is a distinctive feature of the Gangaur celebrations in Jodhpur. Early in the morning, thousands of maidens, clad in their best attire, singing melodious songs, bring water and 'durva' grass in silver or brass pots to a place known as Girdikot. The fair is witnessed by a large number of citizens who throng to the locality to be a part of the
In Nathdwara, the procession of Gangaur lasts 7 days. Each day, a particular colour is chosen for the dress of the goddess. On the last day of the festival, the image of Gauri is dressed in black with golden lace work and women carrying the image too are dressed in a similar fashion. This indicates the final departure of Gauri.
The images of Isar and Gauri are taken in a procession to the Pichhola Lake, thereafter they go around the lake in a boat, for an hour and the ceremony comes to an end with a display of fireworks on the banks
In Banswara, the procession is taken out from the Zenana Deorhi to Singhvashi Chowk, both are areas within the palace compound. Traditional religious ceremonies are performed here.
Gangaur among the Girasias
The Girasia tribe, who live in Sirohi-Mount Abu region, celebrate Gangaur as a continuation of festivities from Holi to Akshaya Tritiya - lasting for more than a month. They go from village to village singing, dancing and extending invitations while carrying the images of Gangaur. The images are brought back to the village from where they started. During the festival, eligible boys and girls of the tribe select their life partners and elope with them. This form of marriage has the sanction of the community.