Other View

Gangaur: Festival of the prosperity, life and Akhand Suhag

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

By: Priyanka Saurabh

Gangaur is the ancient festival of Rajasthani pride. In every age, virgin girls and newlyweds, but a deep relation of entire human sensibilities has been associated with this festival. Although it is recognized as a cultural festival, it has also become a meaningful inspiration in the protection of life values and the strength of married life. This festival is a ray of light for cultural, family, and religious consciousness. This awakens our family consciousness, the light of happiness, speed, companionship, harmony, energy, self-purification, and new inspiration that pervades life and the world. This festival inspires us to adopt the best and auspicious fasts, resolutions, and thoughts of life.

Gangaur is a festival of Nimad, Malwa, Bundelkhand, and Braj regions of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh which falls on Tritiya (Teej) of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month. On this day unmarried girls and married women worship Shiva (Isar ji) and Parvati ji (Gauri). While worshiping, she sings the song “GorGor Gomti” while sprinkling water from the doob. On this day, at the time of worship, there is a special provision of offering Mahavar, vermilion, and bangles to Renuka after making a cow. Bhog is offered after worshiping with sandalwood, Akshat, incense, lamp, and naivedya. In this festival of Gana (Shiva) and Gaur (Parvati), unmarried girls wish to get their desired husbands. Married women wish for the long life of their husbands by worshiping Gangaur and fasting on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya.

From Chaitra Krishna Pratipada to Chaitra Shukla Tritiya, the second day of HolikaDahan, there is a festival lasting for 18 days – Gangaur. It is believed that Mata Gavarja comes to her Pihar on the second day of Holi and after eighteen days Isar (Lord Shiva) comes to take her back, she bids farewell on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya. Folk songs sung in the worship of Gangaur are the soul of this unique festival. In this festival, Gavarja and Isar as elder sisters and brother-in-law are worshiped through songs and after those songs, the names of their relatives are taken. Gangaur worship is also prevalent in many states of Rajasthan as an essential marriage ritual.

The holy festival of Gangaur is celebrated with great fanfare. On the last day of the festival, Bhandara is organized in every village, and farewell to the mother is done. In Gangaur worship, girls and women wish for unbroken good fortune for themselves, the prosperity of their father and in-laws, and Gangaur. Requests to come again every year. It is often said that Gauri, the daughter of King Himachal, was married to Lord Shankar on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya. This festival is celebrated in his memory. Kamdev’s wife Rati pleased Lord Shankar by doing penance and prayed to give life to her husband who was consumed by his third eye. Pleased with Rati’s prayer, Lord Shiva revived Kamadeva and gave him the boon of going to Vishnulok. Gangaur festival is celebrated every year in his memory.

Gangaur is a famous folk dance of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In this dance, girls hold each other’s hands and dance in a circle praying to Gauri Maa for the long life of their husbands. The theme of the songs of this dance is full of praise of Shiva-Parvati, Brahma-Savitri, and Vishnu-Lakshmi. Except for Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Jaipur, many cities of Rajasthan have ancient traditions. Gangaur dance is the main dance of the Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh.

Gangaur is such a festival, which is associated with the sentiments of the people. It has visions of the realities of village life. These festivals related to deities and religious beliefs introduce us to the realities of life. The festival of Gangaur comes at a time when the crops have been harvested. The farming class is at leisure. Financially also the hand is strong. In such a situation, the atmosphere becomes more cheerful.

The religious faith of the people also becomes strong. Life starts going on with double the enthusiasm. New energy is born. One more special thing, through religion, through sweet songs, daughters get proper education to live life. That too without saying anything. Because daughters see and hear all this and start molding themselves in the same color. Every parent wants their daughters to get a good home, and family and be happy.

Dancing and singing are the main part of this festival. In the courtyard of the houses, there is a lot of dance like salsa, etc. Those who have gone abroad return home on this festival. Those who do not come are eagerly awaited. There is hope that they will come on the night of Gangaur. Women have only their songs to express the sweet pain of annoyance, ecstasy, and hopeful waiting. These songs are the speaking pictures of his mental state.

Gangaur festival is an inspiration to remove sorrows and create happiness in the world of physical and materialistic run-of-the-mill. This festival is the message of the consciousness of the responsibility of married life. In this, threads of countless responsibilities of women are intertwined. This festival guards those crossroads from where there are possibilities of deviating from life’s ideals, it holds those aspirations whose speed is very fast but which runs wildly without any purpose. This festival is a unique medium to make women powerful and cultured. Keeping personal interests aside, it is the message of the attitude of sharing happiness and collecting sorrows for others. Gangaur is the thread binding all human sensibilities in love and unity. That’s why the value of Gangaur should not be limited only to women but should reach the hearts of all human beings, only then there is meaning in celebrating this festival.

The writer is research Scholar in Political Science,Poet, freelance journalist and columnist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *