The festival begins with the custom of gathering ashes from the Holi Fire and burying the seeds of ‘Barley’ in it. The seeds are then watered every day awaiting germination. The ceremony takes place with the praiseful songs for Isar (Siva) and Gauri. The women decorate their hands with mehndi since it is considered auspicious. They carry painted earthen pots on their heads. They also make images of Gauri and Isar with clay.
On the seventh evening after Holi, unmarried girls assemble and take out a procession with ‘Ghudlia’ (an earthen pot with holes around and a lamp inside) on their heads. The girls are gifted with sweets, ghee, jaggery, oil etc. by the elders. This process is practiced for ten days. Newly-wed girls are expected to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Women keep fast for 18 days and eat only one meal a day.
A large number of fairs are organized during this time. Women make images of Isar and Gauri in clay for the festival. In some Rajput families, permanent wooden images are used after painting them every year. These paintings are done by traditional painters called Matherans. Similar idols are used in the festival of 'Teej' with the only difference of a canopy. The idols in Teej have a canopy while those used in Gangaur are without a canopy.
It is believed by the local people that after a temporary long ceremony Gauri and Shiva are reunited on this day. Small doll-like Idols of the Shiva and Gauri are made of wood. These divine male and female entities are called ‘Isar’ and ‘Gangaur’.
Special dishes are made during the festival. In Jaipur, a sweet dish called a Ghewar is characteristic of the Gangaur festival. Women make food out of the sweets, ghee, jaggery, oil etc. that they receive as gifts from elders.