Culture History & Culture

Corona fear robs Rajasthan’s Gangaur festival of its sheen

Rajasthan women celebrate Gangaur festival through video conferencing, following the lockdown advisory in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak

The festival of Gangaur was a silent one, as women stayed indoors within their houses and celebrated the festival via video conferencing, due to nationwide lockdown following the Coronavirus outbreak.

Every year, women would celebrate singing together under one roof and listen to the story associated with this festival. They would also take part in a procession and offer their prayers to Shiva and Parvati.

However, this year they took to Skype, WhatsApp and Google chat. On Thursday, police officials had issued an advisory requesting women to stay at home and celebrate the festival online. Women of the same family were also directed to maintain social and personal distancing while praying at home.

This is the first time in the nearly three century old history of Jaipur that the Gangaur Festival failed to make a mark. A royal procession, which was been an annual ritual since 1828, was not taken out either.

Jaipur’s City Palace administration took this decision following government advisory which did not allow more than five people to gather at one place in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramu Ramdev, who looks after Jaipur’s museum, affirmed that this is the first instance when Gangaur procession has not been taken out here since the formation of Jaipur princely state. However, the prayers were offered by a few people inside the palace.

Jaipur came into being in 1728 and the Gangaur procession began in 1828, from City Palace. The annual ritual became a part of the city’s culture. Ramdev added that the Gangaur procession was also taken out before the formation of Jaipur, when the state capital was in Amer.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 7:36:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/rajasthan-women-celebrate-gangaur-festival-through-video-conferencing/article31190684.ece

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