Gangaur festival is one of the most famous and traditional festival of
Rajasthan which commences on the first day of Chaitra (March-April); i.e
the day following Holi and lasts for 18days. The word Gangaur is derived
from the two words 'Gan' (Shiva )and 'Gauri' (Parvati). Dedicated to Gauri,
a manifestation of Goddess Parvati, this festival is celebrated mainly
by girls and married women. During the festive days they observe fasts
and offerings are made to the ornamented images of the goddess. Unmarried
girls plead for the blessing to get a good husband while the married women
pray for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands. It is believed
that if a newly married girl observes the fast for the full 18 days by
having only one meal a day, she will succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried
girls take this fast. This is also an auspicious day for young people
to select their life partners.
On the festival day women wear beautiful traditional clothes with chunky
gems and jewelry and apply mehandi on their hands. Clay images of Shiva
and Parvathi are made and are decorated beautifully to make them alive.
Sweet dishes are prepared and distributed among the friends and relatives.