Gangaur Fair, Jaipur India Tour ( March - April )
Held about a fortnight after Holi, Gangaur is an important local festival of Rajasthan which is celebrated with much gay and fervor in honor r of Gauri, a manifestation of goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva.
A celebration of monsoon, harvest and marital fidelity, the festival is mostly celebrated by both married and unmarried women. Since Gauri is considered as the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love, unmarried women worship her to be blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare of their husbands and a long, happy married life.
Celebrated throughout Rajasthan with great enthusiasm for about 18 days, the festival finally culminates with the arrival of Lord Shiva to escort his bride home.
During this period, images of Gauri are ornamented and offerings are made. Women decorate their hands and feet with Mehendi. They sing songs and carry earthen pots with numerous holes all around with a lamp lit aside (ghudlias) collecting small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. This continues till the conclusion of the Gangaur Festival when the girls break their pots and throw the debris into a well or a tank and enjoy a feast with the collections made.
Also an auspicious time for young people to select their life partners, on this occasion, tribal men and women of the Girasia tribe select partners and marry by eloping and surprisingly this form of marriage is sanctioned by the community.
Celebrated with great zeal all over Rajasthan with slight regional variations, the Gangaur Festival offers a colorful insight into the culture of Rajasthan. Colorful processions with the town band, horses, and elaborate palanquins make it a fascinating spectacle.