Mewar Festival, also renowned as ‘Ganagur Festival’ is celebrated in cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathdwara, Udaipur, Banswara and some areas of Gujarat as well, for eighteen days after Holi Festival. The Festival is celebrated to invite good monsoon and harvest, also married woman preach the lord for their husband’s good health. ‘Gana’ refers to Lord Shiva and ‘Gaur’ to Goddess Parvati.
- The Mewar Festival starts from the day of the Holi Festival and lasts for 18 days.
- It is believed that this Festival is a celebrated because on this particular day Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati reunited after being departed for a long time.
- Idols of ‘Gana’ (Lord Shiva) and ‘Gaur’ (Goddess Parvati) are worshipped in individual homes.
- These idols are tiny and made of Wood; male statue is referred as ‘Isar’ and female statue as ‘Gangaur’.
- This festival is also considered as a Women’s Festival as married women pray for their healthy fidelity and the unmarried women pray for a suitable husband.
- Women decorate their hands with Hena (Mehendi), also get dressed up traditionally with all the necessary cultural accessories.
- On the day of Holi, the ashes are collected from the Holi Fire, and then the seeds of barley and wheat are buried in it, also regular watering is done to it. The ladies sing religious songs while performing this ritual.
- Then after a week, the idols of Isar and Gangaur are made.
- On the 7th day of Gangaur, the unmarried women carry Ghuldias on their heads in evening. The Ghuldias are clay pots bearing a hole with a lit lamp in it. These women then roam around the neighborhood, and collect ghee, jiggery, oil, sweets and cash as little presents.
- The same ritual of carrying Ghuldias is continued till the next 10 days, on the last day these earthen pots are broken and the collection of presents in the pots are kept safe by women for their treat and the rest of the broken pieces of pots are thrown in water.
- The last three days increase the festive essence and women spend these days decorating the clay idols and beautifying themselves.
- On the last day, these idols are carried by women on heads with huge processions for the main ceremony to a lake.
Gangaur Festival in Udaipur
- Udaipur is blessed with Gangaur Ghat that is named after this festival and the ceremonies are conducted on this particular ghat.
- On the last day of Mewar Festival, huge processions from all around the city are conducted; these processions meet at Gangaur Ghat in the evening.
- In the processions, traditionally dressed women carry the idols on their heads and sing cultural songs and head towards Gangaur Ghat.
- At Gangaur Ghat, these idols are placed on a several small boats and are taken to the main Gangaur Boat that rests amidst the water of Lake Pichola.
- After these idols are placed on the main Gangaur boat, the ending ceremonies begin with fireworks, songs, celebrations and series of cultural programs.
- The Gangaur Festival is considered as one of the main festival of Udaipur.
Significance of Mewar Festival
This Festival is a simple gesture of worshipping Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati and asking for a healthy monsoon, harvest and marital fidelity in return.
How an individual can experience this vibrant festival?
If you aspire to indulge in this festival, we’d recommend you to co-ordinate with the last day of Gangaur Festival and assemble on Gangaur Ghat for acquiring the festive feel.
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