Photographer's Note

she is mere 15 years old and the artist decorated her as goddess Parvati on the occasion of GAJAN Festival.

About Parvati: Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is also regarded as a representation of Shakti, albeit the gentle aspect of that goddess because she is a mother goddess. Parvati is considered as the supreme Divine Mother and all other goddesses are referred to as her incarnations or manifestations.
Parvati is nominally the second consort of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and rejuvenation. However, she is not different from Satī, being the reincarnation of that former consort of Shiva. Parvati is the mother of the gods Ganesha and Skanda (Kartikeya). Some communities also believe her to be the sister of god Vishnu. She also is regarded the daughter of the Himalayas.

About Gajan: Gajan a Shaivite folk festival, held on chaitra sangkranti (the last day of Chaitra) and on full moon nights up to the full moon of Asadh. The festival is associated with various gods. There may thus be shiva's Gajan, the Gajan of dharma thakur, the Gajan of Nil etc. But the main object of this festival is to celebrate the marriage of the sun and the earth. The reason for this festival is perhaps to appease the sun and pray for rain during the hot, dry month of Chaitra.
The festival is arranged on the premises of Shiva temples. Those who take part in the festival after making vows are called sannyasi or bhaktya. They take sacrificial food and wear uturi (wrappers). Each one holds a staff. They try to satisfy the god through different acts of penance, such as piercing their tongues with nails, jumping upon thorns, walking on burning charcoal etc. chadak puja is performed on the occasion of the Gajan festival. During this festival, processions are brought out from the premises of the temple of Shiva and taken to other villages. A pair of processionists take the roles of Shiva and Gauri and render dances. Other bhaktyas take the roles of Nandi, Bhrngi, ghosts and spirits, monsters and demons and dance along with Shiva and Gauri. During this time different verses are recited narrating the story of how Shiva's sleep was disturbed and going on to his marriage, his agricultural activities etc. This festival usually lasts for three days. During the gajan on Chaitra Samkranti, Kali dances are also performed in some places describing how the goddess slaughtered the monster Asura.

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Additional Photos by Partha Pal (partha) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1318 W: 85 N: 1306] (14023)
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