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Gangaur 2024 - History, Rituals and Traditions

Posted By ServDharm


Posted on March 23 2024

Gangaur festival will begin on the first day of Chaitra and continue for 18 days. The festival is also known as Gauri Tritiya. Gangaur Pooja will begin this year from March 25, 2024 onwards and the pooja will end on 11 April, 2024.

इस वर्ष गणगौर 11 अप्रैल 2024 को मनाया जाएगा और दैनिक पूजा सोमवार 25 मार्च 2024 से शुरू होगी।

Gangaur is a colourful and vibrant festival celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and West Bengal. It is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva, and celebrates marital bliss and the onset of spring. The festival is particularly significant for married women who pray for the well-being, prosperity, and longevity of their husbands, and also for young women seeking a good marriage. Here are some of the key rituals associated with the Gangaur festival:

  • Ghewar Preparation: Before the festival begins, women start preparing for Gangaur by making traditional sweets like ghewar, which are then offered to the goddess as part of the rituals.

  • Ghoomar Dance: Women perform the traditional Rajasthani folk dance known as Ghoomar during the festival. This dance involves graceful movements and twirls, accompanied by traditional songs.

  • Clay Idol Preparation: Women create clay idols of Goddess Parvati (Gaur) and Lord Shiva (Gana) which are then decorated beautifully with vibrant colours, clothes, and jewellery.

  • Processions: On the first day of the festival, women dress up in colourful attire, adorn themselves with traditional jewellery, and carry the idols of Gaur and Gana in a procession through the streets. The procession is accompanied by singing, dancing, and traditional music.

  • Offerings and Prayers: Women offer prayers to Goddess Parvati and seek her blessings for the well-being and longevity of their husbands. They also pray for a happy and prosperous married life.

  • Observing Fast: Married women observe a strict fast throughout the day, abstaining from food and water, to seek the blessings of the goddess for the well-being of their husbands.

  • Final Immersion: The festival concludes with the immersion of the clay idols of Gaur and Gana in a water body, symbolising the departure of the goddess to her husband's abode. This ritual is accompanied by prayers and festivities.

  • Exchange of Gifts: On this occasion, married women receive gifts from their parents, in-laws, and relatives as a token of love and blessings.

Why are clay idols made during Gangaur Festival?

The pooja ritual for Gangaur with clay idols involves several steps and offerings to honour Goddess Parvati (Gaur) and Lord Shiva (Gana). Here's a general outline of the puja ritual:

  • Preparation of Clay Idols: The first step is to prepare the clay idols of Gaur and Gana. These idols are usually crafted by married women at home or by young women seeking to find the perfect life partner. The idols are then left to dry before they are painted and decorated.

  • Cleaning the Puja Area: Before starting the pooja, the puja area is cleaned and purified. A small platform or altar is set up and decorated with flowers, rangoli (decorative patterns made with coloured powders), and other traditional decorations.

  • Invocation (Pran Pratishtha): The ritual begins with the invocation of the deities. The clay idols of Gaur and Gana are placed on the altar, and prayers are offered to invite the divine presence into the idols.

  • Offerings/Prasad: Various offerings such as sweets, fruits, coconut, and other traditional delicacies are prepared and offered to the deities. These offerings symbolise devotion and gratitude.

  • Lighting of Lamps: Oil lamps or diyas are lit to illuminate the puja area and symbolise the dispelling of darkness by divine light.

  • Chanting of Mantras and Hymns: Devotional songs, bhajans, and mantras dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are recited during the pooja. These prayers seek the blessings of the deities for marital bliss, prosperity, and well-being.

  • Abhishekam (Holy Bath): The clay idols of Gaur and Gana are bathed with water, milk, curd, honey, and other auspicious liquids as a form of purification and reverence.

  • Offering of Flowers and Incense: Flowers, particularly marigold and jasmine, are offered to the deities along with incense sticks to please them and create a divine ambiance.

  • Arti: The ritual of aarti involves waving a lit lamp in front of the idols in a circular motion. Devotional songs are sung, and the lamp is offered to the deities as a symbol of reverence and adoration.

  • Prayer and Meditation: The pooja concludes with heartfelt prayers and meditation, where devotees express their wishes and seek blessings for their families, especially for the well-being of their husbands.
  • Distribution of Prasad: After the completion of the pooja, the prasad is distributed among family members and devotees as a sacred blessing.

  • Immersion of Clay Idols: On the final day of the festival, the clay idols of Gaur and Gana are immersed in a water body such as a river or pond, symbolising the departure of the goddess to her husband's abode. In urban cities of India, the idols are first immersed in water in a pot and then added to one’s garden/clay pots/plants.

These are the typical rituals involved in performing Gangaur pooja with clay idols.



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