Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gangaur Festival

Gangaur is a festival in which Shiva and Parvati are main deities.

The festival commences on the first day of chaitra (Purnimanta) , the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it continues for 18 days, and they observe rituals every day. Unmarried girls also fast for the full period of the 18 days with  only one meal a day. Festivity consummates on 3rd day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month. Fairs (Gangaur Melas) are held throughout the 18 day period. The festival has numerous folklores associated with it and the festival is deeply ingrained into the hearts of people of Rajasthan, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Gujarat.

One of the beliefs associated with the festival is that Parvati comes home during this period, and encourages unmarried girls to marry and arranges bridgegrooms for them. At the end of the festival, Shiva comes and escorts her back to home.

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