(Last Updated on : 20/02/2009)
Jaipur festivals are the vibrant occasions that add to the color to life. The royal city of Jaipur celebrates each and every festival with full passion and zeal. The colorful city appears even brighter during the celebration of special festivals. There are numerous festivals, which is celebrated in Jaipur like any other part of the country. But Jaipur in particular is famous for some unusual and interesting celebrations through fairs and festivals in their own style. The festivals of Jaipur, which are worth mentioning include Elephant festival, Teej festival, Diwali, Kite festival and Gangaur festival.
The lively `pink` city looks more pulsating during the festivity and tourists come swarming in the city. Different fairs and festivals of Jaipur have their own importance and offer an enjoyable break from the busy schedules of life. The festive season is the best time to explore the customs and traditions of Jaipur.
is one of the most popular festivals of Jaipur, Rajasthan. This festival is celebrated every year in March on the occasion of Holi that is the festival of colors. The elephant festival revolves around the unique concept of its own kind. The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated throughout India, but in Jaipur, the festival gets some more spice added to it, when the elephants become the major attraction of this festival in their classy and colorful attires.
This elephant festival is held in the famous Chaugan ground of Jaipur and makes the perfect venue for the thousands of viewers. Elephant Festival starts with a parade of decorated Elephants marching towards the ground and different competitions are organized to enjoy the festival at its fullest. The elephants often participate in races; polo-matches and tug-of-war with men make the spectators spellbound. Here one can enjoy the elephants at their best. The elephant keepers or the mahouts decorate their elephants from head to toe with an exceptional care and unique elegance. The `Best Decorated Elephant` contest is the best feature of this cultural celebration. The audience often enjoys the festivity by dancing and playing. Folk dances and music programs are also held for the overall entertainment of people. This festival of elephants brings back the essence of royalty of Jaipur. After the contests, the people enjoy the magnificent elephant ride in the ground. The festival is most visited by tourists and photographers to take some rare pictures of the elephants beautifully decked with floral motifs.
is a significant festival of Jaipur, especially attended by the women. This festival is widely celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. The term Gangaur is derived from two words, `Gan` and `Gauri` which are respective synonyms of `Siva` and his companion `Parvati` respectively. The festival of Gangaur starts just after the day of Holi and is celebrated for about 2 weeks. Gangaur Festival is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Gauri - the symbol of virtue, devotion, fertility and a perfect married woman.
The womenfolk of Rajasthan worship Gauri with all the means of devotion in the Gangaur Festival. The married women worship the Goddess in order to pray for the well being of their husband, while the unmarried girls worship the goddess to get the husband of their choice. The festival commences with the ritual of collecting ashes from the Holi Fire and burying the seeds of barley in it. After this, the seeds are watered everyday and waited anxiously for their germination.
During the Gangaur Festival, the praiseful songs for Isar (Siva) and Gauri are performed. The women apply henna on their hands to look beautiful during the auspicious festival. They carry painted matkas (water pots) on their heads. They also make images of Gauri and Isar with clay. On the seventh evening after Holi, unmarried girls assemble and take out a parade with `Ghudlia` (an earthen pot with holes around and a lamp inside) on their heads. The festival is celebrated for a fortnight and the elders gift the girls with sweets, ghee and cash. On the final day of the festival, lively images of Gauri are taken out in procession escorted by conventionally decorated camels, bullock carts, horses and elephants. Songs are sung bidding farewell to Gauri for her husband`s home. Breaking of pots and throwing the trash into a tank or pond, end the procession.
is a popular festival because of the admired hobby of Kite flying in Jaipur by people of all age groups. The day of Makar Sankranti or 14 January marks the official day for flying kites in Jaipur and people enjoy the festival by flying kites for the whole day. The sky above Jaipur city becomes next to invisible due to the innumerable kites covering it. People form groups and fly kites thus enjoying the event to its full. Everyone is an opponent in this game and each kite is a competitor for the other. Absorbed in Kite flying, people enjoy loud music and spicy food on the terrace itself. In Jaipur, the sky during this festival looks like a huge collage with all kites of all shapes and designs.
In every five years, the Government of Rajasthan organizes the Desert Kite Festival
, where expert Kite makers display their kites. Sometimes, these kites measure as big as 1.5 km and are designed in different shapes. Some kites often carry social messages; depict social issues or even caricatures of politicians. This festival has become popular among the tourists, who too participate in the kite flying competitions.
is widely celebrated in Jaipur, which marks the arrival of monsoon, after the scorching sun of summers. Teej is celebrated during the month of `Shravan` (July-August), according to the Hindu calendar. Teej is an important cultural festival for the womenfolk of Rajasthan, in which they pray for the well being of their husbands. This festival marks the beginning of festive season in Rajasthan.
Festival of Teej is primarily meant for married women and girls. During this auspicious festival, Goddess Parvati is worshipped to attain the symbol of virtue, devotion and fertility. According to a mythological legend, Goddess Parvati was united with Lord Shiva after years of sacrament on Teej. On the festival, married women pray for the well being of their husbands and nuptial bliss. To celebrate the occasion of Teej, girls and married women apply henna on their hands and get dressed in their best clothes. Teej is also known as festival of swings and rains, and women celebrate by singing songs and enjoying rope swings. Parents of married girls offer gifts, sweets and clothes to their daughter`s home. In the case of engaged girls, they accept `Sindhara` from their "would be in-laws", consisting gifts and sweets. Teej Festival of Jaipur is enjoyed by a huge procession out in the city and the markets of Jaipur are decorated for the occasion. The idol of Teej in the market adorned with jewelry and finery fetches the main attraction. Teej is celebrated with all the pleasure and enthusiasm in Jaipur, where procession is the highlight of the festival. The traditional festivals of the royal city of Jaipur and is celebrated with a special zeal. The alluring sight of these festivals is eye-candy for any tourist and creates the perfect reason to visit Jaipur.