A colourful and most important festival of Rajasthan is Gangaur. ‘Gan’ means ‘Shiva’ and ‘Gauri’ means ‘Parvati’ hence the word Gangaur forms. Gangaur is a celebration of marriage and love, honouring Goddess ‘Gauri’ or ‘Parvati’. Every woman whether she is married or unmarried takes part in this festival. Women overflowing with eager enjoyment make clay images of ‘Shiva’ and ‘Parvati’, dress them beautifully. They offer prayers to them, observe day-long fasts for marital happiness and prepare delightful dishes for the family. ‘Parvati’ represents perfection and marital love; therefore married women do it for the welfare, health, and long life of their husbands and happy married life. While unmarried women worship for being blessed with a good husband.
Gangaur festival attracts a huge number of tourists from all over the world. The most prominent festivities happen in Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner. A sweet called Ghewar is a specialty of the Gangaur festival. Local people eat and distribute Ghewar among their friends and relatives. A procession commences from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace, Jaipur with the image of Gauri. The procession is headed by an old palanquin, chariots, bullock carts, and a performance by folk artists.
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