Dress up, try your hand at henna and dance along the streets of Jaipur with the women of the city as they worship the Goddess Parvati at one of Jaipur's most exciting events.
- When? TBC March/April 2018
- Where? Jaipur, India.
- Price: Free
Ladies listen up; Gangaur Festival is coming to town and it's the perfect excuse to dress to impress. But you better make an effort; it will be hard to out-do the elephants who parade in beautiful paints and decorations along the streets.
Celebrating the Goddess Parvati who symbolises marital love, courage, power and excellence in Hindi culture, this 18-day event begins on the first day of Chaitra, between March and April every year in the Hindu calendar.
Traditionally, married women worship the Goddess Parvati for a long life, wealth and good health, whereas unmarried girls pray for an intelligent and understanding life partner. All woman fast during the event, eating only one meal per day for 18 days. They are also adorned in the most lavish of dresses and decorate their skin in mehandi patterns.
Single women receive gifts of money, sweets and jaggery from their family as they carry ghudilas (earthen pots) on their heads. Married woman make clay idols of the Goddess which are then submerged in water to mark the end of proceedings.
In Jaipur, Gangaur festival is a big event that arrives the day after Holi so this is a great time of year to visit India if you want to experience the very best festivals and the non-stop celebrations. During the event, a grand procession, which begins at Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace, runs through the city to Talkatora. Expect to see elaborate chariots and palanquins float along the streets followed closely by folk artists who provide enchanting music and entertainment for onlookers to enjoy.
Elephants are also an important part of the parade. They are decorated in brightly-coloured paints, robes, flags and jewels standing as the star attraction of the march through the city.
Pack your brightest clothes and most elegant jewellery ladies, Gangaur festival is your time to shine.
- Get there: Fly to Jaipur International Airport, then take a taxi to the city centre.
- Stay: The parade runs through Kanwar Nagar, so stay nearby if possible.
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