Gangaur is also called as Gauri Tritiya, which is celebrated extensively in parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. The Gangaur festival celebration extends for 18 days beginning on the first day of Chaitra month and the prayers are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The word Gangaur is made up of two words where ‘Gana’ means Shiva and ‘Gaur’ means Parvati.
It is this divine couple which is worshipped by all the womenfolk on this day for long life of their husbands. This day is also known as Saubhagya Teej.
Gangaur date & time
This year, the Gauri Tritiya or Gangaur will be celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya.
Gangaur for the year 2022 will be celebrated from March 18 to April 4.
The Gangaur festival usually lasts for 18 days, as people in most regions start performing the rituals a day after Holi. The festivities take place in Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Bikaner.
Gauri Teej – Significance
The festival of Teej holds immense significance in Hindu culture.
The day celebrates the marriage and love between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As per legend, after months of separation, Goddess Parvati reunited with Lord Shiva.
To celebrate the occasion, married women perform Gauri puja and pray for their husband’s long life and marital happiness whereas unmarried women pray to Goddess Parvati for an ideal life partner.
Devotees celebrating the Gauri Teej are said to be blessed with happiness, prosperity and longevity.
Gangaur (Saubhagya Teej) – Rituals and Celebrations
The rituals associated with Gauri Puja and Gangaur festival are colourful and full with vibrance and reverence. The celebrations start from early morning hours when women take shower and get dressed in traditional attires to perform Gangaur Puja.
The ash collected after Holika Dahan and mud are mixed and then grains of wheat and barley are sowed and watered for 18 days till the culmination of Gangaur Festival.
Women observe fast on this day and pray for their husband’s long life.
On the last three days of Gauri Tritiya or Gangaur, preparation of their departure commence. Gauri and Isar wear bright traditional attires and then during an auspicious hour, the married as well as unmarried women place the idols of both the deities and take out a colorful and beautiful procession in a garden or a step well.
Women can be seen singing the Gangaur Geet related to the departure of Gauri to her husband’s house. On the final day, images of Gauri and Isar are put in a water tank or well. This marks the conclusion of Gangaur festival.
On this day, women make clay paintings of Shiva and Parvati, dress them in beautiful clothes, worship them, observe a day-long fast for marital happiness and cook delicious dishes for the family. For the locals of Rajasthan, Goddess Parvati represents perfection and marital love; In such a situation, Gangaur festival has special significance for them.
The first and foremost tradition of Gangaur is to collect ashes from the holy fire in earthen pots (kunds) and sow wheat and barley seeds in them. After seven days the women make colorful idols of Gauri and Shiva, chanting mesmerizing Rajasthani folk songs. In some families, the idols are preserved for years and decorated and painted on auspicious occasions.
On the evening of the seventh day, a procession is taken out by unmarried girls by placing a lamp inside an earthen pot called Ghudalia. The girls are blessed with small gifts like sweets, jaggery, a little currency, ghee or oil, clothes and jewellery.
This continues for the rest of the day and the pottery is broken on the last day of the festival. For all the 18 days, newly wed women keep fast for the whole day while other women keep fast after having one meal a day.
On the remaining three days, the festive atmosphere reaches its peak, on these days, women dress up with ornaments, decorate hands with Heena (Mehndi), and also decorate idols for Gangaur Puja. Sinjara is sent by the parents of married women which includes sweets, clothes, jewelry and other decorative items for their daughters. The final day of Gangaur is grand, with many tourists and locals gathering to watch the procession of women carrying the idols of Gauri and Issar on their heads to a lake, river or garden, and Gauri and Issar. Shiva is given farewell. Their idols are immersed in water.
In Jaipur, the Gangaur procession draws a huge crowd where foreigners gather to watch the colourful procession.