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Festivals in Jaipur

  The people of Rajasthan live life to the hilt and nobody can really match the gay abandon with which the Rajasthani surrenders himself to the numerous fairs and festivals that are celebrated here. Processions, Jhankis, folk music and dance, drama and other community activities are major attractions of the festivities.

There are animal fairs, religious fairs and there are fairs to mark the changing seasons. In fact, celebrations occur almost round the year and provide the visitor with a splendid opportunity to gain an insight into the culture and traditions of Rajasthan.

City Fest - Gangaur Festival

Gangaur Festival, a spirited celebration, is held very year during the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) in Jaipur, a city of pomp and pageantry. Gangaur Festival marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. Mist fades away and the sun shines bright through a clear blue sky. Trees sprout new leaves and it is time to rejoice and celebrate.

A traditional procession commences from the Zanani-Deorhi of the City Palace, passes through Tripolia Bazaar, Gangauri Bazaar, and Chaughan Stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora where the image of the deity is immersed in the lake. The procession is headed by a colourful pageantry of elephants, camels, horses, musicians, old palanquins, chariots and bullock carts.
During the festival, women decorate their palms and fingers with henna (mehndi). The decorations comprise motifs of flowers, 'swastika' and 'chaupar', Sun, Moon, stars or some geometrical designs. People purchase colourful idols of Gauri and Isar and put them up in their homes to worship at the commencement of the festival. The walls of the room where the puja is performed are whitewashed and the women paint the figures of Isar and Gauri

Teej Festival

Fun Frolic and laughter is all around as Pink City celebrates the onset of monsoons. When the rains come down, spirits soar high in celebration. Song & dance mark the gaiety of the Teej Festival celebrated in Jaipur. Teej is held every year during the Hindu Month of Shravan and marks the advent of the monsoons.

The fair is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and commemorates the day when she was united with Lord Shiva. Young girls, newly wedded girls and old women can be seen attired in flashy traditional costumes and ornaments. During the festival, women decorate their palms and fingers with henna (mehndi). Basically a women's festival, it is interesting to watch them enjoying in groups all over the city and in the colourful bazars. Ample arrangements are made for the tourist for the bird's eye view of the procession. Teej is also known as festival of swings, a reference to the flower bedecked swings that are erected at this time.

An elaborate procession comes out of the Zenana Deorhi for two consecutive days. This year the festival will be celebrated on 2-3 August 2000.

 

Elephant Festival

On the day of Holi a majestic elephant festival is organised in Jaipur. The grand Annual Elephant Festival which is a major tourists attraction and charm for the local citizens. The real heroes here are majestically ornamented elephants who mark the beginning of the festival as they march into a procession.

From the age old days of Rajas and Maharajas, Elephants in Rajasthan are royal animal. There majestic built, their gait and elephant safari is unparalleled. A grand elephant procession usually starts from Ram Niwas Garden and proceeds to Chaugan Stadium at Jaipur. Afternoon onwards various competitions and cultural programmes enthrall the audience at Chaugan Stadium.

 The participating elephants are adorned with vibrant colours of gulal, some also wear jewellery like ghunguru, their trunk, eyes, legs etc are embellished with traditional designs. The traditional cloth that covers their back is rich in embroidery and jari work. Even the elephant riders look their best with traditional turbans and typical Rajasthani dress.

Various events like Elephant Decoration Competition, Gala procession, Elephant Polo, Tug of War, Elephant Race and Elephant Holi are organised. The festival will also entertains the audience with Rajasthani folk music and dance and brilliant fireworks, which is also a specialty of Jaipur. While the males elephants play polo and race for the top honours, the females hover around wearing anklets and payals. Elephant festival at Jaipur is a real showstopper!

Makar Sakranti Festival

Celebrated on January 14, Sakranti as it is usually called, is a day of kite flying. Jaipur has a unique way of celebrating this harvest festival. The entire city revels in the joy of kite-flying munching snacks and sweets.

Makar Sakranti is awaited with bated breath, specially by the experts at kite flying. It is observed as a fun-filled kite flying day, people gathered over their rooftops to vent their energy and enthusiasm flying kites. The Pinkcity's skyline gets sprinkled with colourful kites. Friends and fellows all join the 'kite flying fun' and are entertained with regular supply of hot tea and pakoras.

Thousands of people enjoy kite flying and yell "Woh Kaataaaa… " when a competing kite is severed. In the walled city the scene is far more enthralling as the houses are close by and looting a felled kite is as enjoyable as flying a kite. Groups of kids and guys can be seen on roads many days before the fest looting the kites. The kids are unwilling to get down even after sun sets.

The main attraction is kites with photos of film stars. Kites with life size pictures of Bollywood's hot stars and cricketers are also available. Some people even enjoyed flying kites with long tail made of paper bits and frills.
 

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