Gangaur festival is one of the most popular and colorful festivals of Rajasthan state. It is a festival of women. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Gauri. During its celebrations, married women worship the deity and pray for the long life and prosperity of their husbands. Unmarried girls also partake in its celebrations and worship for a good husband in the future.
Gangaur festival has a mythological tale behind it. The name of the festival is inspired from Shiv and Parvati as Gana is Shiva and Gauri is Parvati. It is said that Lord Shiva got impressed by the meditation and devotion of Parvati and married her. Thereafter, Gauri visited her paternal home during the festival of Gangaur to bless her female friends with blissful marriage.
During the festival, women dress up in their traditional attires and put heena on their palms. They sow wheat in earthen pots which is a significant element of this festival. The ladies worship the lord for 18 days and end the festival by fasting on the last day. On the 7th day, single girls carry burning lamps inside a clay pot on their heads. They take blessings of their elders and get gifts from them. On the last day of Gangaur, a huge vibrant procession is organized with local music and dance in which women carry water pots on their heads to the river, which are then broken there and idols are immersed into the water.
Gangaur is celebrated in almost all parts of Rajasthan. The most vivacious celebrations can be witnessed in cities like Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Nathdwara, etc.
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