Gangaur, the spring festival that wishes for bountiful harvests and marital bliss, began one day after Holi in the Hindu month of Chaitra. As Rajasthani women prepare for its rituals at home, we’re here to tell you about this colourful event, along with some useful Rajasthan train news if you’re travelling to the state.
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Why is Gangaur celebrated?
The word Gangaur comes from ‘gana’ (Shiva) and ‘gaur’ (Gauri, another name for Parvati), as the festival pays tribute to their marital devotion and hopes to recreate it in the lives of everyday couples. Also known as Gauri Tritiya, Gangaur Teej and Saubhagya Teej, it is celebrated around March or April every year by Marwari communities in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
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Festivities last for 16 to 18 days, and feature the worship of clay or wooden idols and fasting by married women for their husband’s good health. This year’s Gangaur fasting (vrat) date is April 15. Unmarried women are also encouraged to take part, in the hopes of finding Mr Right.
Before COVID-19, vibrant Gangaur Melas would be held across Rajasthan. Women—married and unmarried—would dress in their finest clothes and carry teeming pots (ghudlia) and beautified puja idols in street processions, culminating with their immersion in local water bodies. Folk music, fireworks, and painted elephants gave company.
Even if processions are on hold this year, the women can still enjoy other long-standing traditions like wearing mehendi, decorating pots with Mandana paintings, receiving gifts from their parents, and creating puja baskets with flowers and wheat (a symbol of the harvest).
Rajasthan special train list: April 2021
Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Gandhidham, Vadodara and Kolkata are some of the cities with notable Gangaur festivities. Despite several COVID-led train cancellations, there are still enough special train lists in 2021 that can help you find a ride back home:
> Trains to Jaipur (JP)
> Trains to Jodhpur (JU)
> Trains to Udaipur (UDZ)
> Trains to Jaisalmer (JSM)
> Trains to Indore (INDB)
> Trains to Bhopal (BPL)
> Trains to Gwalior (GWL)
> Trains to Gandhidham (GIMB)
> Trains to Vadodara (BRC)
> Trains to Howrah (HWH, for Kolkata)
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