Festivals

Gangaur  

Gangaur is the colourful and the one of the most important festivals of people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Goddess Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship her for being blessed good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happy married life.

 

The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra maas of Hindu calendar, the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of the 18 days and eat only one meal a day.

 

The ladies put henna (mehadi) in their hands and feet. Effigies of Isar and Parvati/Gauri of clay are being made to worship. The idols of Gauri and Isar are dressed in new garments especially made for the occasion. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the idols/effigies and make them look like living figures.

Teej  

Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon.

 

This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness.  The traditional Ghevar sweet is also significant in Teej. The day before Haryali Teej, is celebrated as Sinjara, wherein women put mehandi on their hands and eat Ghevar.

 

Traditionally, a married woman would go to her mother's house for Teej and come back after Rakhi. In this way they would spend about 10 days of the summer with their parents. It is customary that, when a daughter goes to her parents' house, she takes sweet and salty savouries with her.Daughters spend Teej with their parents, and after they come back they spend Buddhi Teej – Teej for the daughters-in-law – in their marital home. Buddhi Teej normally falls within a week after Rakhi.