The beautiful and usually calm desert land of Rajasthan has a rich plethora of celebrations. The Festivals and fairs, music and dances, gives a hint of creativity.
Thus Rajasthan is culturally active or fertile basin and many festivals and fairs are held here. The air is filled with festive fervour and cattle marts turn into delightful fairs.
Festivals attract Rajasthanis and tempt them to celebrate for a number of reasons. Cheti Chand is celebrated in the first month of Hindu calendar, chaitra or March-April month of the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is celebrated with true devotion and purity all over the country.
People from various sections of the society irrespective of caste and creed celebrate this festival by visiting temples and offering pujas at the Mother’s feet.
In some places special puja samarohas are also held by setting the images of Mother Durga on beautifully decorated pandals.
Temples dedicated to Shakti also make arrangement for pujas and bratas to mark these nine days as true symbols of devotion and adoration towards the divine mother.
The winter is obsoluting and the spring is about to start. Mists fade away and the sun shines bright through a clear blue sky. New leaves are budding on Trees. Gangaur is the most popular and colourful and the most important festival for people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great enthusiasm and devotion by womenfolk.
The festival is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and martial fidelity. Women worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva. The word ‘Gangaur’ is literally made up of two words, ‘Gana’ and ‘Gaur’. ‘Gana’ is synonymous with Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ which stands for Gauri or Parvati symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the personification of excellence and marital love.
Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati are worshipped in this festival of Gangaur. This festival is specifically meant for women folks. The unmarried women worship Gauri for blessing them with good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and longevity of their husbands and cheerful married life.
It is believed that after a temporary long sacrament Gauri and Shiva reunited on this day. The small doll like Idols of the Shiva and Gauri are made of wood. These divine male and female entities are called ‘Isar’ and ‘Gangaur’.
The festival commences on Holi. The festival runs through many days. Young girls pray for grooms of their choice while married women seek a long life for their husbands. The ladies beautify their hands and feet by temporary decoration by drawing designs with Mehendi.
After 7th day of Holi unmarried girls carry earthen pots with hole and a lamp lit inside, called ‘Ghudlia’ on their head, singing songs in the evening. They go around all the houses in the area and collect small presents, cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. The women chant hymns to the Goddess.
The festivities continue for 18 days and conclude with the arrival of Lord Shiva to accompany his bride home. A grand procession of beautifully ornamented elephants, camels, horses and dancing people with joyous children & drummers carries the idol of Gauri in beautifully decorated gold and silver a palanquin.