Rajasthan: A state of history, valour, royalty, and festivals! It is said that every day in Rajasthan is some or the other festival. This is partially so because Rajasthan observes a Teej almost every day. While the neighboring states of Rajasthan have started celebrating Teej too, this article is dedicated to a very Rajasthan specific festival – Gangaur.
If you hail from Rajasthan, you have probably seen red saaree clad women carrying shiny Kalash on their heads on the day of Ganguar. Celebrated around March-April, or the Hindu month of Chaith, Gangaur is a festival celebrating love, romance and marriage. Before you jump on to a Bollywood-isque imagery of people doing a flash mob and singing songs, let us tell you that it is exactly that. Just a little more of a fairy tale!
The story dates hundreds of years back, when a woman looking for a perfect husband was told to worship the Goddess Gaur (a form of Hindu Goddess Parvati) and her husband, Lord Gan. It is said that within weeks of starting to worship them, the lords blessed her with a handsome, brave and wealthy husband. So the news spread across the town, and more and more young women started worshipping Gan & Gaur, giving us Gangaur.
Hundred years later now, even married women celebrate Gangaur to seek the blessings of the Gods for a healthy married life. The day of Gangaur is also marked by some exotic dishes, which you are possibly not going to find anywhere else in the world. Bajri ke Dhokle being one such dish! The idols of Gan and gaur are offered water, milk, sweets; these food items and other offerings are then collected by a local gardener. As the legend goes, all the offerings made to Gan and Gaur are only accepted by the two deities if a gardener happily accepts them.
Gangaur hasn’t lost its tradition with time. The royal families across the state celebrate Gangaur with much enthusiasm, among them Jaipur’s royal family takes it a notch above with a public rally. This public rally has an elephant, a lot of camels, some old artillery of the royals, Rajasthan’s cultural artists, dancers, and the royal family itself oining the crowds in the Gangaur walk. To find out more about how the Royal family of Jaipur celebrates Gangaur, click here (hyperlink with: How Jaipur Celebrates Gangaur)