Gangaur is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of Rajasthan and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat.” Gan” means lord shiva, “Gaur” means goddess Parvati. It is observed on the 1st day of Chaitra month the day following Holi and continues for 18 days.
This festival is held in the honor of Goddess Parvati who Symbolizes married bliss. A married woman worships Gauri for welfare, health and the long life of her spouses, whereas unmarried worships for being blessed with good husbands.
During these 18 days, all the newly married women will observe a fast. Through these 18 days, Goddess Parvati is worshiped. During this festival ash from the holy fire is collected and seeds of wheat and barley are buried and watered daily till it germinates. After a week Holi women make clay images of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati and decorate them with ornaments.
During these festival days women dress up in their best attire, and they apply Mehandi on their hands and feet. Singings and dancings are the essential parts of this festival. The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. On the first two days, the beautifully decorated idols of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati are taken in a procession to a tank or well by women and the procession comes back after offering water to the image of a Gauri. The Image faces backward during the first two days. On the final day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes in the consignment of all images in the waters of a tank or a well. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their eyes and the Gangaur festival comes to an end.
During this festival, many fairs are held. A boat procession is taken out on the Pichola lake in Udaipur. Gangaur festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.