Festivals

          The people of Ganganagar have great attraction for fairs and festivals. The chief festivals of the district include Sheetla Ashtami, Navratra, Ram Navmi, Gangaur, Akha Teej, Raksha Bandhan, Dussehra, Deepawali, Holi, Makar Sankranti, Janmashtami, and Ganesh Chaturthi. Apart from these, the birth anniversaries of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh, and the Mohammedan festivals like Ramzan, Id-ul-Fitar and Id-ul-Juha are also observed with great enthusiasm. Besides, Mahaveer Jayanti, Paryushan parvas, Lohri and  Baisakhi are also celebrated with great fanfare.

Gangaur Festival

Gangaur is very colourful and one of the most important festivals of the Rajasthan and is observed throughout the state including Sriganganagar district with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Goddess Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during March–April. It symbolizes the cultural, social, and religious heritage of the area. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur, which stands for Gauri or Parvatii, symbolizes saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship her for being blessed with a good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and for a happy married life.

The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls observe fast for the full period of the 18 days and eat only one meal a day.

 

         Idols of Isar and Gauri are made of clay for the festival. The ladies put Mehandi (Henna) on their hands and feet. The figures drawn range from the Sun, Moon and the stars to simple flowers or geometrical designs. At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, bawdi or johad or well with the idols of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband's house. The procession concludes in the consignment of the all images in the waters of a tank or a well.

Ramdev Festival

This festival is very popular in the district. Ramdev Pir or Ramdevji(1352 - 1385 AD) is a Hindu folk deity of Rajasthan. He was a ruler of the fourteenth century who devoted his life for the upliftment of downtrodden and poor people of the society. He is revered by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike.

 


Muslims venerate Ramdev as Ramshah Pir or Rama Shah Peer. He was said to have had miraculous powers, and his fame reached far and wide. Legend has it that five Pirs from Mecca came to test Ramdev's powers. Ramdev after initial welcoming requested them to have lunch with him. But Pirs said they eat in their personal utensils, which are lying in Mecca, so they cannot have their meals. On this Ramdev smiled and said look your utensils are coming and they saw that their eating bowls were coming flying in air from Mecca. After being convinced of his abilities and powers, they paid their homage to him and named him Rama Shah Peer. The five Pirs, who came to test his powers, were so overwhelmed by his powers that they decided to stay with him and the Samadhis of these five are also near the Samadhi of Ramdev.

 

Ramdev is the chief deity of the Meghwal community, worshiped during the     August - September. The community's religious leader, Gokuldas, in his book Meghwal Itihas (1982), claims that Ramdev was himself a Meghwal. However, this is a claim accepted only by the Meghwal community themselves. Other sources, folktales and the Hindu community generally believe Ramdev to have been born in the Tanwar Rajput community. Ramdev believed in the equality of all human beings, be they high or low, rich or poor. He helped the down-trodden by granting them their wishes. He is often depicted on horseback. His worship crosses the Hindu-Muslim divide as well as the distinctions of caste and creed.