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Gangaur

March-April; first through 18th days of the Hindu month of Caitra

Gangaur is one of the highlights of the festival year in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is observed in celebration of Gauri, another name for Parvati, Shiva’s wife. This is largely a girls’ and women’s festival, but boys and men get to enjoy the elaborate processions that take place in cities around the state, such as Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Udaipur, where there is also a boat procession on Pichola Lake.
The festival begins the day after Holi and continues for 18 days, during which women fast, dress in their best clothes, adorn themselves with intricate henna designs, and pray—married women, for the well-being of their husbands and marriages, and single women, to find good husbands. The festival culminates with feasting and processions of the goddess’ image celebrate the union of Gauri and Shiva, representing happy married life.

CONTACTS:
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
Rm. No 123, Transport Bhawan, No. 1, Parliament St.
New Delhi, Delhi 110 001 India
91-11-23715084; fax: 91-11-23715084
www.tourisminindia.com

SOURCES:
FestIndia-1978, p. 76
RelHolCal-2004, p. 184

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