Maheshwari Sabha hosts Gangaur festival
The Purva Kolkata Maheshwari Sabha recently celebrated the festival of 'Gangaur' with much fervour and devotion for the fifth year in a row at the Phoolbagan Gangaur Park, here.
'Gangaur', the festival of Rajasthan is observed with great fervour and devotion by women folk who worship 'Gauri', the consort of Lord Shiva.
The word 'Gangaur' comes from 'Gana' which is a synonym of Lord Shiva and 'Gaur' which stands for Gauri who symbolises Saubhagya (marital bliss).
Being the only all-women-festival of 'Gangaur' in the city of joy, the celebration was observed in colourful episodes, gaiety participants and several folk songs and dances, welcoming goddess 'Gauri' to her motherly home for her 18 days stay.
Purva Kolkata Maheshwari Sabha covers areas like Kakurgachi, Phoolbagan, Beliaghata, Ultadanga, EM Bypass and nearby locations with a family of 1550 Maheshwari members of the organization which started in the year 2008.
The event saw cultural functions, young girls and women dominating the stage with colourful cloths, dance and song.
Since the very first year the lyrics of all the numbers are also being written by Shashi Kanta Kothari. The procession includes both men and women with women outnumbering there men counterpart.
Gangaur symbolises marital happiness achieved by Gauri. While married women evoke the blessings of Gauri and pray for the long life of their husbands, unmarried girls pray for a good husband.
Speaking to the media, Hemant Marda, Vice-President of Purva Kolkata Maheshwari Sabha said, "The aim of organizing this Gangaur Mahotsav on such a large scale is to bring to light the Rajasthani culture and to connect today's youth with their tradition and culture. 'Gangaur Mahotsav' showcases the vitality and energy of Rajasthani culture with live performances in the stunning surroundings which brings traditional touches of Rajasthan in the town. We are really very thankful to all our participants for making this event so grand."
Describing the significance of the festival, a lady here said, "Idol of Isar ji represents Hindu god Shiva while that of Gangaur ji represents goddess Parvati. We offer prayers to these idols on this day. Unmarried girls pray for getting a good groom while the married ladies pray for the long life of their husbands."
The ladies decorated their hands and feet by drawing designs with 'mehandi'.
Gangaur starts the day after Holi and goes on for 18 days.
Women apply mehendi and are offered sweets, clothes and jewellery by family members.
Married women get gifts from her mother and mother-in-law.
The last day of Gangaur is celebrated in a grand way. The idols are immersed in river, pond or well and this concludes the 16 days of Gangaur festival. Women feast each other and in the early evening, go out with the Gangaur.
This is the fifth year in a row where Purva Kolkata Maheshwari Sabha is celebrating this Gangaur Mahotsav on such a large scale here at Phoolbagan.
(Posted on 03-04-2014)