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Gangaur or Gauri Tritiya or Gauri Teej is a popular festival celebrated in the Indian state of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, this festival is celebrated every year on the Tritiya (third day) of Chaitra, a month according to the Hindu Calendar. Though this festival is celebrated for 16 days starting from Holi, the last day of the festival is considered to be quite important. This year the Gangaur falls on 27 March 2020. The festival consists of a sacred puja which is performed mostly married women and those who are newly wedded.
Now let us go through the festival in detail.
Muhurta For Gangaur
The name of the festival comprises two different words i.e., Gana and Gaur meaning Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati respectively. The Tritiya will begin at 07:53 pm on 26 March 2020 and will remain till 10:12 pm on 27 March 2020. Married women can begin the puja during this auspicious time. However, the puja begins from Holi itself and therefore, women and girls worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati every day till Gauri Tritiya.
Rituals Of Gangaur
1. The puja begins with taking a holy bath early in the morning.
2. After taking a bath, wear clean and if possible, new clothes. Bring the water from a river, pond or any other water in a Kalash (pot used for worshipping). Women and young girls can also decorate the Kalash with flowers and leaves. This water will be then used for worshipping the deities.
3. Make small idols of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva, Ganesh and Kartikeya using muds and some amount of the water that you brought after taking bath.
4. Worship Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva, Ganesh and Kartikeya. Offer Gangajal (sacred water of river Ganges) to all of them and Nandi (the sacred bull of Lord Shiva) as well.
5. After this, offer Chandan (sandalwood paste), Bael leaves, Kesar (saffron), Dhatura, Dudh, Ghee, Honey and flowers to the Shivlinga.
6. Light a Ghee Diya in front of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva.
7. Offer Bindi, Sindoor (vermillion), Kajal and other auspicious things symbolising to marital bliss.
8. Take a thali and put a silver challa and a supari into it. Now prepare Suhaagjal using turmeric, milk, curd and kumkum. Sprinkle this Suhaagjal on the idols that you prepared while keeping Doobh in your hand. Also, sprinkle the same on yourself.
9. Once you are done sprinkling the Suhaagjal, listen to the Katha (story) of Gangaur Mata.
Significance Of Gangaur
1. On this day women worship Goddess Parvati for seeking her blessings in the form of a long and healthy life of their husbands.
2. Many women often observe a fast on this day. They dance and sing folk songs together to enjoy the festival.
3. Legends have it that women who worship Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva on Gangaur are blessed with marital bliss and husband's well-being.
4. It is believed that Goddess Parvati impressed Lord Shiva by observing fast on this day and worshipping him.
5. Though this puja is performed by women to ensure the long and healthy life of their husbands, the men aren't given the prasad of Gangaur Puja.
6. The festival symbolises the eternal and true love between husband and wife.