Yesterday was the famous festival of Rajasthan, callled Gangaur (गणगौर).
Gangaur is the colourful and the one of the most important festivals of people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during July-Aug. It is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and martial fidelity in Jaipur. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship her for being blessed good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and happy married life. Courteousy: Wikipedia.
It commences on the day following Holi and continues for 18 days.
Rituals of Gangaur Festival
The first important ritual of the colourful festival of Gangaur is the collection of ashes from the Holi fire and burying of wheat and barley seeds in it. These seeds are the religiously watered every day until the germination takes place. The ritual is performed with songs of Isar and Gauri (Shiva and Parvati) and the varying of pots of water on the head.
A week after Holi, women make clay images of Gauri and Isar. The ritual is made colourful and joyous with the traditional folk songs sung in praise of Gauri.
On the evening of the seventh day after Holi, unmarried girls take out a parade with ghudlia and singing songs related to it. Ghudlia is an earthen pot with holes around and a lamp inside. On their way, the girls are gifted small presents like sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil and a little cash. The ritual continues for ten days, upto the conclusion of the Gangaur Festival. On the last day girls break their pots and throw the remains into a well or a tank and enjoy a fest with their little collections.
However, Gangaur Festival celebrations reaches its peak during the last three days of the festival. At this time women take special care to decorate themselves and also the clay images that they had prepared. At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, tank or a well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women.
Gangaur aptly reflects the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan and is celebrated with great pomp and show in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Marathwara and Jaisalmer. Gangaur Festival is also observed at some places in Gujarat. Courteousy: holifestival.org
Different parts of the state have different traidions and so different foods that they make on this day. The place that I belong to, Jaipur, is famous for it's Ghewar. Some other recipes are Choorma, Kheer, Feeni etc.
Ghewar is a delicious Rajasthani sweet, consists of rounded cakes of wheat flour which suger syrup is poured. Ghewar sweet known for its matchless sweetness comes in varieties such as plain, desi ghee, paneer and mawa. Paneer ghewar is garnished with paneer and is highly demanded for their tasty flavor.
It is little bit complicated recipe and even in Rajasthan, pretty much everyone gets it from the market, very rarely makes it at home.
I will hope I can make it some day.
Till my next post, take care.