Posts Tagged festivals in rajasthan

Nandni Mata – Avtar of Goddess Durga

Nandni, meaning daughter, is another name of Goddess Durga. The goddess is worshiped by Hindus mostly in Navratri (a Hindu festival when all the forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped).

In vagadi language, Nandni mata is also called Nandore Ma.

History

In dwapad era, king Kanns heard a sound from the sky that he will be killed by Yashoda’s sibling. So he sent Yashoda and her husband in jail and one by one killed all their daughters  in jail. It is said that Goddess Nandni was one of those daughters of Yashoda which were killed by kanns in dwapad era.

Nandini mata Temple

Nandni mata has been regarded as Pavagh Devi of Gujarat in Vagad. The main temple of Goddess Nandini is situated on the top of the hills near barodiya village which is a part of Vagad. The famous folk dance garba is devoted to Goddess Nandni.

Another temple which is located in 15 km from Banswara district of Rajasthan is also very famous. Nandni Mata appears in several Vedic hymns and is also described in the eleventh chapter of Durga Saptmi book.

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Kite Festival in Jaipur, Rajasthan – Colorful Sky Filled with Kites and Joy

The Rajasthanis love to celebrate and happily participate in elaborate rituals with gay abandon. There are numerous fairs and festivals  in Rajasthan and there is always something assigned to each month of the year. Kite Festival is certainly one of them, which is enjoyed by people of all age-groups in Jaipur Rajasthan.

Makar Sankranti or 14th January is celebrated with a lot of fanfare and color every year. Family and friends gather in throngs on top of roofs, celebrating Makar Sankranti and unleashing their kites on the sky and add a romantic touch to ethereal pink Jaipur monuments.

Kite Festival in Jaipur

The three-day festival will start tomorrow (14th Jan) with an inauguration at the Polo Ground, which is the venue for  kite flying and fighting for the three days of the festival.

The festival includes two kinds of celebrations. A massive extravaganza follows with Air Force helicopters releasing kites from the sky, and hundreds of school children releasing balloons. Kites that look like wasps, exquisite stained glass windows, graceful mythical birds soar in the sky and the sky shimmers with magic.

Significance of Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a festival of the Sun god. The sun goes for Uttarayan popularly called Utran from this day according to Indian astrology.

Makar is a Rashi (Zodiac) and Sankranti means transition. Hence, Makar Sankranti means transition of the Sun from the zodiac Makar. People goes to Ganga Sagar near Kolkata, West Bengal, to take a bath on Makar Sankranti.

Large number of people go to Ganga Sagar to take a bath on this day. Kumbh Mela in Haridwar is also beginning from Makar Sankranti.

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Dussehra in Rajasthan – Victory of Good Over Evil

It is a unique festival celebrated all over India. It is very important for Hindus. It is also known as Vijaydashmi (Vijay means victory and Dashmi means tenth day) as it  is believed that it was on that day that lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana and rescued to his abducted wife Sita. It is victory over evil.

SIGNIFICANCE

Ramila an enactment of Lord Rama is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On tenth day larger  than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire. This way people are asked to burn the evil within them and follow the path of truth and goodness bearing in mind the instance of Ravana.Dussehra in Rajasthan

Bengalis celebrates  Dussehra as part of their main festival Durga puja. Vijaydashmi is dedicated to mother Goddess Shakti who incarnated in form of goddess Durga ,a combined manifestations of combined energies of holy trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. On this day statues of Goddess Durga  are submerged in river waters. The puja is performed with turmeric which makes water purified for farmers and yield better crops.

PURPOSE

Many houses perform Aditya Homas as  Shanti Yajna and recites Sunder kandan of Shri Ramayan for 9 days.

The purpose of performing these homas is also to kill and sacrifice  ten bad qualities which are represented by ten heads of Ravana are as :

Krodh (Anger)
Moha(delusoion)
Lobha(Greed)
Mada (Overpride)
Matsara(Jealousy)
Manas (Mind)
Buddhi(Intellect)
Chitta(Will)
Ahankara(Ego)
Kama Vasana

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Sri Krishna Janmashtami – Lets Celebrate The Birth of Hindu God Krishna

Shri Krishna Janmashtami - Celebrating The Birth of God

Shri Krishna Janmashtami - Celebrating The Birth of God

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatram (star).

It is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. According to the legends, Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.

How is Janmashtami Celebrated?

Special pujas are held in Sri Krishna Temples around the world. Special poojas and rituals are also held at midnight – the time of Krishna’s birth. Processions with tabloids depicting various episodes from the life of Shri Krishna enacted by children are a major highlight of the festival.

At every temple of lord krishna, this Janmashtami festival is celebrated with a great charm, people dance with bhajans, they offer pooja to lord. Social groups organise competitions like “Matki fod Pratiyogita”. Women and little children goes to lord Krishna’s temple for darshan and pooja.

People put Lord Krishna’s idol in the decorated little cradles. Singing bhajans like jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki, Madan Gopal ki, devotees offer prayers to Lord Krishna. They also chant mantras of Lord Krishna.

Devotees observe fast for the entire day and it is broken after the birth of the Lord at midnight. Only milk and milk products are preferred by them, as these were the favorites of Lord Krishna.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami is known by various names such as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham, Ashtami Rohini, Sri Krishna Jayanti and Sree Jayanthi.

Janmashtami Celebrated for over Two Days

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days as “Rohini” nakshatra and Ashtami may not fall on the same day. The first day known as Krishnashtami, as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna falls on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan, which generally falls in the month of August. The second day is known as Kalashtami.

Famous Krishna Temples in India

Some of the famous Krishna Temples in India where Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with much importance includes Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir in Mathura, Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan, Srinath Temple in Rajasthan, Dwarkadhish Temple in Gujarat, Guruvayur Temple in Kerala, Udupi Sri Krishna Temple in Karnataka, and ISKCON Temple in Tirupati.

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Teej Festival in Rajasthan – Reflecting The Magic of Rainy Season

Festivals are the very essence of life for the people of Rajasthan. Every season is marked with a series of fairs and festivals except the summer months when the blazing sun scorches the earth. With the arrival of the monsoons the festival season is unleashed. And the most important festival to herald the monsoons is the Teej – reflecting the magic of the rainy season.

Teej – Most Widely Celebrated Festival of Rajasthan

Teej Festival in Rajasthan

Teej Festival in Rajasthan

Teej is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan. Swings, traditional songs and dancing are some of unique features of Teej celebrations in Rajasthan.

Teej Festival Attractions

Teej is essentially a women’s festival. At the time of Teej, women dress up like a newly wed. They wear green, red and yellow attires, decorate their hands and feet with fascinating mehndi designs.

Girls engaged to be married receive gifts from their future in-laws a day before the festival. The gift called shrinjhara derived from the word Shringar (adornment) consists of henna, lac bangles, a special dress of laharia (tie and dye fabric) and a sweet called ghewar.

Religious Significance of Teej

It is said that on Teej day goddess Parvati was united with Lord Shiva after a penance of a hundred years – making them a symbol of an ideal marriage. Invocation of Parvati’s blessings on this day results in continued marital bliss.

Teej Procession in Jaipur

Teej procession in Jaipur not just attracts visitors from India but also lures a large number of international tourists. High point of Teej procession is the magnificently decorated idol of Goddess Parvati which is kept on a palanquin and carried through walled city of jaipur.

Thousands of devotees throng the procession which is carried out for two consecutive days. Antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, caparisoned elephants, camels, bands, and dance groups form a part of the grand Teej procession.

Lots of Teej songs are sung when the procession moves further. Folk artists and performers enchant the crowd with their splendid performance. Some people even dress up like Gods and Goddesses and play various musical instruments.

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Ghoomar – Famous Social Folk Dance of Rajasthan

Dance is an expression of human emotion as much as music and it is found in almost limitless.

The desert region of Rajasthan is famous for the color and vibrancy of its folk forms. Each region in Rajasthan has its own form of folk dance. Tribal areas have maintained these folk dances which are often performed for special occasions.

Ghoomar – Rajasthan’s Popular Folk Dance

Ghoomar - Popular Rajasthani Folk Dance

Ghoomar - Popular Rajasthani Folk Dance

The famous Ghoomar,  Rajasthan’s popular folk dance gets its name from ‘ghoomna’, the pirouetting which displays the spectacular colors of the flowing ‘ghaghara’, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women.

There is an amazing grace as the skirt flair slowly while the women folk twirl in circles, their faces covered with the help of the veil. Their measured steps and various graceful inclinations of body, beating palms or snapping fingers at particular cadences while singing some lilting songs.

Women from all age group participate in Ghoomer dance. At times this dance may continue for hours or the whole night. While dancing, the dancers move in a circular direction with clockwise and anti-clockwise steps. The performers sometimes unite their hands and even clap their hand in-between.

The performers move gracefully on the beat of the songs in synchronizing steps. As the tempo of the dance increases, the dancers swirl fleetly.

Traditional Ritual in Rajasthani People

The Ghoomar dance is the characteristic dance of the Bhils and a community dance of the Rajputs, also which only the women traditionally perform. It is considered as one of the traditional rituals among this community. So, on the occasion of marriage, a bride is expected to dance Ghoomar after being welcomed at her husband’s home.

Suggestions

If you happen to travel Rajasthan in festival season, don’t miss a ghoomar recital at the City Palace in Jaipur.

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Mewar (Gangaur) Festival – The Festival of Spring – Celebrated by Married Woman in Rajasthan

Woman Celebrating Gangaur ( Mewar) Festival in Rajasthan

Woman Celebrating Gangaur ( Mewar) Festival in Rajasthan

Mewar Festival is the festival of Spring or Rituraj, king of seasons.

Udaipur with its tranquil lakes, surrounded by the breathtaking Aravali hills, narrow meandering roads and lanes, is the ideal location for the festival.

About Gangaur Festival

Celebrated during the Hindu month of Chaitra(March- April), the two day festivity is marked by a joyous mood which pervades the environs of Udaipur. This festival is dedicated to Gauri, a manifestation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and Symbol of conjugal bliss and marital happiness.

During the Festival the delightful culture of Rajasthan comes into full view through songs, dances, devotional music and fireworks displays.

In days of yore, men had to go out for a long periods of time to attend to their professions and Gangaur was an occassion when married women were re- united with their husbands.

Thousands of people from the countryside comes to take part in the procession of Gangaur, which goes around from village to village. Tribal men and women get the opportunity to meet and interact freely and during this time, they select partners and elope to marry. An unusual, romantic custom sanctioned by the community, it helps many young people find their life partner.

Women make various ornaments out of gram flour for decorating the images of Isar and Gauri. The ornaments are so beautiful that they seem to made out of Gold itself and impart a life like appearance to the images.

Evenings are coloured with Gangaur processions . Groups of Women balancing several brass pitchers on their heads add to the gaiety of the Udaipur celebrations.

Rajasthani Women Decorating and Celebrating Mewar Festival

Rajasthani Women Decorating and Celebrating Mewar Festival

Highlights of Gangaur Festival

The highlight of the festival is a grand festival is a grand boat procession which starts from famous Lake Palace and ends at the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichola. A ‘Shobha Yatra‘ is taken out through the main street of the city  elephants, camels, horses and folk artists participate in this rally.

A fancy dress compedition for foreign couples dressed in Rajasthani costumes is a big draw for participants and spectators alike.

There are many sweets and dishes prepared during the festival which tastes amazing, and the best part is the Shobha Yatra which is great to watch and even involve.

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Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan – True Color and Culture of Our State – Padharo Mhare Desh

Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan, Its true Color!!

Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan, Its true Color!!

Rich heritage, majestic monuments, vibrant fairs, myriad festivals and so many other words are just not enough to describe Rajasthan. Once has to explore the royal land to experience its magic.

Rajasthan’s Colors – Fairs and Festivals

Rajasthan’s true colors can be seen in the Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan – the desert glitters with the colors of joyous celebration and gay abandon. Rich in tradition and often inspired by religion.

The Rajasthani Festivals are a part of their rich culture. Men , Women and childern clad in colourful and new attires, bazaars selling a variety of exotic gift items, programs of folk dance and music are sights to remember for a life time.

Atmosphere During Festivals

The whole atmosphere in Rajasthan becomes vibrant and colorful during festival seasons.  Everywhere you can see men wearing red turbans and women vibrantly colored lehangas and odhnis, which show the joyous spirit and passion of the people towards life.

The people of Rajasthan are so versatile that they celebrate almost every occasion in the form of fairs, festivals and other cultural programs. Be it the change of season, religious occasions or cattle fairs, there is a festival for every occasion. The different fairs and festivals are attended from tourists who flock from world over.

In addition to traditional fairs, many new festivals, involving elephants, camel races, dance and music are being organized by the ‘Rajasthan Tourism Department for the entertainment of tourists.

Major Festivals of Rajasthan

Some of the major fairs and festivals in Rajasthan are listed below:

  • Pushkar Fair, Pushkar
  • Camel Festival, Bikaner
  • Desert Festival, Jaisalmer
  • Elephant Festival, Jaipur
  • International Kite Festival, Jaipur
  • Dussehra/ Vijay Dashmi , kota
  • Nagaur Fair, Nagaur
  • Gangaur Festival, Jaipur
  • Teej Festival, Jaipur

Other Fairs and Festivals

There is an endless process of Rajasthan’s fairs and festivals on the Indian calendar; the Chandrabhaga Fair in Jhalawar, Summer Festival at Mount Abu, Kapil Muni Fair along the Kolayat lake, Sri Mahavirji Fair of the Jains, Shitala Ashtami held at Chaksu near Jaipur, Ramdeoji Fair near Pokhran in Jaisalmer; all these in addition to the major Hindu festivals of Holi, Dussehra, Diwali and Raksha Bandhan.

We are starting a series of blogs where we would post details on the most celebrated festivals and fairs in our state of Rajasthan. We would try to showcase as much details as possible from our side. We hope you like our blog, do post in comments!!

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