Gangaur is the most rejuvenating festival celebrated in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The festival is celebrated about a fortnight after Holi in honour of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.
The Gangaur festival, which lasts for 18 days, is celebrated for the marital’ bliss of Shiva and Parvati. The festival is mainly women-oriented. Women perform the swirling ghoomar dance and carry images of the Goddess in colourful processions through the streets. In reality, gaily attired teenager girls, gracefully balancing brass pitchers on their heads, go to the temple of Gauri, another name for Parvati. Then they bathe the deity which is bedecked with flowers.
In the Gangaur festival, women pray for long life and the well-being of their husbands. According to tradition if a woman is unhappy while she sings, she is destined to get an ill-tempered husband. The festival ends in rejoicing with the arrival of Shiva, who, very happily, took his bride Gauri to his home along with caparisoned horses and elephants.