Rashi Bajaj giving the introduction of Gangaur Festival mentioned:
Gangaur (गणगौर) as we all know, is a colorful festival celebrated, especially amongst the women, in the Indian states of Rajasthan and some parts of Gujarat, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.Gangaur is colorful and one of the most important festivals of people of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervor and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity.
‘Gangaur’ is derived from Gan which means Isarji (Lord Shiva), and Gauri, Goddess Parvati, who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship Parvati so that they are blessed with a good husband, while married women worship Parvati for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and for a happy married life.
The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage.
Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of the 18 days and eat only one meal a day. Festivity consummates on 3rd day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month. Fairs (Gangaur Melas) are held throughout the 18-day period. Numerous folklores are associated with Gangaur which makes this festival deeply ingrained into the hearts of Rajasthan, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Gujarat.
Images of Isar and [Parvati|Gauri]] are made of clay for the festival. In some Rajput families, permanent wooden images are painted afresh every year by reputed painters called matherans on the eve of festival.
The ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with Mehndi (myrtle paste).
The figures drawn range from the Sun, Moon and the starts to simple flowers or geometrical designs. Ghudlias are earthen pots with numerous holes all around and a lamp lit inside them. On the evening of the 7th day after Holi, unmarried girls go around singing songs of ghudlia carrying the pots with a burning lamp inside, on their heads. On their way, they collect small presents of cash, sweets, jaggery, ghee, oil etc. this continues for 10 days i.e. up to the conclusion of the Gangaur festival when the girls break their pots and throw the debris into the well or a tank and enjoys a feast with the collection made
The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. The images of Gauri and Isar are dressed in new garments especially made for the occasion. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the images and make them look like living figures.
On the celebration of Gangaur festival in Brampton, Canada, attended by hundreds of people, At an auspicious hour on Sunday afternoon, First Poojan was done in a tradional way and then a procession was taken out with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of colorfully traditionally dressed women. Songs were sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband’s house. The procession came back after offering water. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their eyes, festivity took the peak when many tradional performances were performed by many participants, and the Gangaur festival came to end with mouthwatering Rajasthani Cuisine of Dal, Bati, Churma, Gatta,Sangri, Kaanji Vada, Moong dal halwa, Rabadi, Kulfi etc.
Celebration was attended by Consulate General of India to Toronto, Hon. Dinesh Bhatia, along with his wife Seema Bhatia, Mayor of Brampton Hon. Patrick Brown, RANA members, many religious intuitions heads, and community leaders.
On this Occasion Hon. Dinesh Bhatia ji wished happy festivities and best wishes to those who celebrate Gangaur, and also applauded how the Indo-Canadian diaspora engages in the different festivities throughout the year and keeps the culture and value lively.
Speaking on the occasion Mayor of Brampton Hon. Patrick Brown wished everyone Happy Gangaur and Festivities, he mentioned that Brampton is one of the most diverse city in Canada, and it is always a pleasure to see how all the different diversities made Brampton Culturally so strong, and applauded Rajasthani community playing a key role in the fabrication of the diverse Canadian society. He also remembered seeing the rich culture of Rajasthan on his visits to India.
On this occasion President of RANA Swati Singhal praised the Rajasthani community playing a key role in fabrication of Canadian society both professionally and culturally. He also thanked Rashi Bajaj for hosting this beautiful event in the city of Brampton and adding more color’s to the colorful city of Brampton.
Also speaking on this occasion Community leader Naval Bajaj mentioned about the role overall Indo-Canadian diaspora has been playing in keeping the cultural values from our origin mother land and working hard to build strong foundation in our Karma Bonomi Canada. We all are blessed that we live in most beautiful county in World and blessed to celebrate different festivities throughout the year from around the globe as Canada is a country with full of diversities.