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Gangaur festival Rajasthan IndiaOverview of the Festival
Gangaur is a very important festival celebrated in Rajasthan state. The festival is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra, according to Hindu calender, which falls in the month of March-April. Gangaur is the only festival celebrated for good 18 days. The dates follow yet another popular festival - Holi. The festival, Gangaur, is devoted to Goddess Parvati - also popular by the name Gauri. One more interesting thing about the festival is that it marks an auspicious day for womenfolk.

History of the Festival
Gangaur festival, celebrated with zeal and devotion by the womenfolk, is celebrated to pay homage to goddess Parvati - the consort of Lord Shiva. Young and un married girls observe rituals during the festival and observe the occasion to get married to the spouses of their choice. Married women do the same for the hapiness and prosperity of their family. It is devoted to Goddess Parvati for her fidelity and virtues. According to popular belief the day marks the occasion when Goddess Parvati or Gauri left her parents home following her marriage to Lord Shiva. People believe that on this day the Goddess bestow blessings to the devotes.

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Celebrations
The festival, though celebrated throughout Rajasthan, is celebrated with different response and reactions in different cities. At Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner there is a maximum of the activity. Women and young girls observe fasts during this period. At Jaipur Ghewar - a special sweet dish is prepared and served throughout the city. There is a procession communed from the Palace Gate. The procession carries an image of Goddess Parvati and is followed by a large gathering.

In Udaipur, a similar procession communes around Pichola Lake. One can hear a lot of hymns, songs and an extravagant display of fireworks. At Bikaner the women observe fasts and prepare sweet dishes. The dishes finally find their way to the wells. Many other offerings are made to the deities.

Some villages in Rajasthan celebrate the festival for a whole month. The villages reverberate as the populace sing and dance. It is also the occasion to select the spouses.

Where to Reach
As has already been mentioned the festival marks slight difference and is celebrated with varying enthusiasm. To have the maximum exposure the best places are Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner cities.

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