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the Blog 2 by Michèle Beguin
GANGAUR FESTIVAL IN RAJASTHAN


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GANGAUR FESTIVAL


In the Hindu month of Chaitra - March April- all Rajasthan is busy preparing the superb festival of Gangaur. It starts on the first day of the Chaitra month, the day following Holi and will last for 18 days. In fact it is the occasion for all ladies, married or not, to pray Parvati to carry on having or to get a happy married life.
Goddess Parvati is worshipped for the long life, prosperity and happiness of their spouses while the young ladies approach Isar- Shiva- for getting a good and a understanding life partner. Parvati is viewed as the embodiment of conjugal adoration, boldness and perfection. And in a country where marriage is seen as the main act of life, no need to say about her importance! Hence this festival. As the tradition dictates, the Gangaur statue will be made with "mitthi" -earth- mixed ash of the Holika's pyre, the day before playing with colors. Though in some other communities like the Rajputs', Gangaur is made in wood but they all will be painted by a special group of painters, the "Manthera". The statue will be dressed and bejeweled the best possible to look marvelous.
Gangaur is big fun! for that occasion, ladies young and less young, will sport new attires, and it is true that the Gangaur crowd' dresses colors are changing with the years. Finished the 'bridal shocking pink" these days, dark red and yellow are the hits! It is an exciting atmosphere everywhere and the city markets are filled with all the necessary items for the festival: painted Gangaur and Isar statues, shining cloths and costume jewellery of all kinds and for all, divine statues, ladies and girls!
If well planned a traveler can see Gangaur in several cities as the number of days' festivities and dates are changing slightly from one city to another one. But in Bundi there is no Gangaur festival at all...the city is still remembering the sad demise of one of their Maharaja Budh Singh Hada and sons, who died in 1698 on that day...In fact, he and his entourage were quite drunk and the barge on which they were on, turned over. They could not swim, they all died...The Bundi people still respectful of his passing away do not celebrate the festival. Gangaur is a splendid festival that one should never miss to see. Though celebrated differently in the cities of the state, it is always done with a very touching fervor.



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A Propos de Michèle Béguin

CNIL:1050096 2004 © Michèle Béguin