A bit on strange places, another on ethnicity and endangered cultures, unknown bad guys' bios, spies' tales and then a spoonful on geopolitics
Finally, my own funny mess
martes, 29 de enero de 2008
India, Rajasthan, Gangaur Festival
Rajasthan is a NW province of India bordering with Pakistan through the Thar's desert. Its main cities are Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner. The main religion here is neither Brahmanic's Hinduism nor Buddhism, but Rajputana’s Jainism, who gave us concepts and beliefs as karma, ascetism, non-violence, vegetarianism and reincarnations.
The colorful and mostly women’s made Gangaur Festival is devoted to Isar and Gauri, and celebrates both the end of monsoon, the harvest and marital fidelity. It lasts 18 days from the begin of the Indian month of Chaitra (March or April, depending upon planets' positions)
Many images of clay and wood of both idols are specially made for that celebration. Married and unmarried girls paints her hands and feet with myrtle dye, and dress the images of Gauri and Isar in new garments especially made for the occasion.
From the seventh day on, unmarried girls go around singing, carrying metallic or earthen lamps on their heads and collecting small presents as cash, sweets, brown sugar, ghee and oil. The last day, they break their lamps, throw away the debris into a tank and then do a celebration with what they collected.
Instead of lamps, the married women initiate a procession up to the house of his husbands with the images of Isar and Gauri on his heads. This ceremony is repeated three times, and in the last one, the images are thrown in a water tank, the women bid farewell to Gauri, turn their eyes and the Gangaur festival comes to an end. (Thx Mystique Creation)