The Pink City of Rajasthan, Jaipur, has a vibrant culture and charming history to boast of. The city of royals and majestic palaces still retains certain traditions even after centuries and paint a fascinating picture for any tourist visiting.
The Gangaur Festival happens between March and April every year in Jaipur, attracting a lot of attention from tourists every year. The festival derives its name from two words, ‘Gan’ and ‘Gaur’ meaning Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati respectively.
'Gan' is the synonym for Lord Shiva whereas 'Gaur' stands for Gauri or Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. The goddess symbolizes power, courage and marital love and is idolized by married women and young girls alike. The festival holds a great following not just in Jaipur but across the cities in Rajasthan.
The festival is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and takes place over 18 days of duration. Beautiful idols of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati and made with clay and decorated before they are worshipped daily during the festival. In some Rajput families, wood is used to make the idols and are painted by ‘Matherans’, the popular painters of the town. A procession is carried out with these beautiful idols along with elephants, chariots and breathtaking folk song and dance routine.
While married women dress up for the occasion and observe fasts (eat only one meal a day) to pray for their husband’s long life and well being, a lot of young girls also observe fasts to pray for a perfect partner like Lord Shiva. The festival is also considered an auspicious time to select your life partner. Ghewar remains one of the most celebrated sweets during the festival to be distributed among friends and family.
The festival also marks the end of winters and celebrates the season of spring. In Udaipur, the festivities are accompanied by a boat race, performances by artists and a stunning firework show at the banks of the lake.