The festival of Gangaur is meant to be all about celebrating marriage and love by honouring the Goddess Parvati or Gauri. Gana signifies Lord Shiva, and Gangaur symbolises Lord Shiva and Parvati together.
According to the legends, Gauri won Lord Shiva’s affection and love with her deep devotion and meditation after which she visited her paternal home during Gangaur to bless her friends with marital bliss.
The celebration involves women making clay images of Shiva and Parvati, dressing them beautifully and praying to them. Both married ad unmarried women can take part in these rituals. A Day-long fast is also observed as a prayer for marital bliss.
The festival also marks the celebration of spring and harvest
Since the locals hold great regard for Goddess Parvati who represents perfection and marital love, Gangaur festival is a very important colour affair. It generally lasts for 18 days, as people in most of the regions start performing the rituals a day after Holi and attracts a huge number of tourists.
Gangaur puja will be celebrated from March 21 to April 8, 2019 all around the state. Married women worship Goddess Parvati for longevity and good health of their husbands, whereas unmarried women worship the goddess to get a good husband.
This festival is primarily for ladies who dress up in their finest jewellery and clothes, and then offer prayers to Goddess Parvati so as to get blessed with a loving husband or for the wellbeing of their husbands.
Even in the state, festivities slightly differ from place to place.
The most notable festivities happen in Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, and Bikaner.
In Udaipur, a boat procession takes place on Lake Pichola along with fireworks. Women try to balance brass pitchers on their heads. The celebration is concluded with fire banks of the lake. On the final day, colourful parades carrying bejewelled images of Goddess Parvati proceed all over the villages and cities, accompanied by local bands.
In Jaipur, the traditional parade starts out from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace. Old palanquins, chariots, elephants, bullock carts, and folk performances make this procession all the more grand.