Saturday, April 13

Culture of Gujarat, Traditions, Food, Festival

About Gujarat Culture

Gujarat culture and heritage is among the most amazing and richest ones in the country. Unique and diverse, the cultural heritage of Gujarat is an incredibly fascinating one. Also, there are several awesome places to visit in Gujarat. Scores of people regularly visit Gandhinagar, the state’s capital. The largest city of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, is also among the most frequented cities in the state. Rann of Kutch, the great Indian White Salt Desert, is among the must-see attractions in Gujarat

Gujarat is a flourishing state with cultural diversity. This vibrant state forms an integral part of the Indian culture. Gujarati culture is the blend of traditions, beliefs, customs, arts, values, and modernization. Despite being among the most industrialized state in India, Gujarat preserves its rich culture and tradition of the ancient past.

Customs and Traditions of Gujarat Embracing different religious faiths, Gujarati’s demonstrate a vibrant mix of HinduismIslamJainism, and Buddhism. This amalgamation of cultures is quite evident in their beliefs, customs, traditions, institutions, and practices.

Traditions of Gujarat

Gujarati’s believe in various deities as there are many religions in the state together. Accepting different religious beliefs, Gujarati shows a lively mix of Hinduism, Islam, Jain, and Buddhism. This connection of cultures is evident in their beliefs, customs, traditions, institutions, and practices. Aboriginal people show a balanced lifestyle due to a thorough education, a mix of religious practices, and the development of artistic traits. The cow is considered a mother and so they are worshiped devotionally. The main celebrated ceremonies of Gujarati include birth, rope ceremony, marriage, and death. All rituals are performed by the highest-ranked Brahmins.

Languages of Gujarat

  • Gujarati is the mother tongue of the natives of Gujarat, many other languages are widely spoken throughout the state. Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language derived from Sanskrit and is the 26th most widely used language in the world. Gujarati has about 11 different dialects, spoken in various parts of the state.
  • Gujarati is the mother tongue of the natives of Gujarat, many other languages are widely spoken throughout the state. Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language derived from Sanskrit and is the 26th most widely used language in the world. Gujarati has about 11 different dialects, spoken in various parts of the state.
  • Gujarati is the mother tongue of the natives of Gujarat, many other languages are widely spoken throughout the state. Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language derived from Sanskrit and is the 26th most widely used language in the world. Gujarati has about 11 different dialects, spoken in various parts of the state.

Food Of Gujarat

A traditional and authentic Gujarati meal consists of dal, roti, rice, vegetables, salad, chaas, farsan followed by a sweet dish.

Some of the famous Gujarati delicacies include dhokla, fafda, khandvi, dhal Dhokli, Undhiyu, handvo, Ganthia, dal Wada, khakhra, and Thepla.

A typical Gujarati dinner includes bhakri-shak or khichdi-kadhi. The Gujaratis are noted for their sweet tongue, and hence every meal is followed by a sweet dish or sometimes even jaggery.

Some Details of Gujarat Food

Khandvi – This popular Gujarati cuisine is made in the form of thin layers of gram Flour that is cooked in buttermilk and converted into delicious small rolls. For the final stages these rolls are seasoned and sautéed with sesame seeds as well as other spices.

Undhiyu – The word undhiyu is derived from the Gujarati ‘Undhu’, that means inverted literally. This is called so since this dish is prepared using an inverted clay pot. This is one of the most landmark dished of all time and is prepared using a combination of eggplant, Papdi, Surt, Methi and bananas amongst other such vegetables and items which is slow cooked and results in each bite bursting with flavours.

Aam Shrikhand – This famous Gujarati sweet dish is created using saffron, condensed milk, chopped mangoes, sugar, Cardamom powder along with some cream. Some people also season this sweet dish with pistachios which brings out the flavors of all the ingredients that went into its making.

Gujarati Kadhi – This is another famous Gujarati food item which is popular across the globe. This is especially a saving grace during the summer time when the scorching heat becomes unbearable. It is created using sour curd that is spiced with gram flour and is also best enjoyed while consumed with Chapatis or steaming hot basmati rice.

Cultural Dress of Gujarat

Patola Silk or ‘Queen of Silk’, it is a staple of traditional Gujarati suits. In Kutch, there is a unique traditional garment that is known as women. Chania Choli is a popular choice of decor during the Navratri festival season. Men also wear unique suits known as kadia dresses during the Navratri season. Also, one of the prevailing Gujarati trends is the Silver Pachikam Jewelry originating in Kutch.

Fairs and Festivals Of Gujarat

Makar Sankranti and Kite Flying Festival (14 January)

Also known as the kite flying festival this festival is celebrated with great vigor and enthusiasm. This festival marks the sun’s direct reaching to the tropic of Capricorn after the completion of the winter solstice. It is celebrated with many folk musics, dance, and kite flying. People of Gujarat gather on terraces to fly kites of various colors to celebrate Makar Sankranti or Uttrayana, in Gujarat, it is also the time when preparations like Undhiyu and sugar cane juice is served. the welcome to the sun after the cold winter months.

Bhadra Purnima (September)

The full moon of Bhadrapad is one of the four most important festival days of the year when farmers and agriculturists come to Ambaji, a place that derives its name from Goddess Ambaji, whose shrine is located there. On this occasion, a large fair is organized on full moon days. In the evening, performances of Bhavai, the folk drama of the state, is held and Garba programmes are organized. The devout attend readings of the Saptashati, the seven hundred verses in praise of the goddess, and visit the temple for a darshan (worship) of her. The Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess in Gujarat, and its origins are still unknown. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas (religious texts) where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered. A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable ‘Shree’ in the centre, represents the deity. There is no idol, which testifies the temple’s antiquity. Idol worship became popular much later.

Bhavnath Mahadev Mela (February)

This fair takes place at the Bhavnath Mahadev Temple that is located on the foot of the holy mount Girnar in Junagadh. This fair takes place for 5 days in the month of February around the festival of Mahashivratri. During this fair, the Mahapuja of Lord Shiva takes place at midnight inside the temple on the 14th day of the dark half of the month of Magh. It is a popular belief that during this time, Lord Shiva himself visits this shrine.

Trinetreshwar Mahadev Fair (September–October)

The small hamlet of Tarnetar, about 75 kilometers from Rajkot, is the site for one of Gujarat’s most well-known annual fairs, held here during the first week of Bhadrapad (September–October). This fair is primarily a “marriage mart” or “Swayamvar” for the tribal youth of today who still visit Tarnetar, to find them a suitable bride. The tribal youth elegantly dressed in colourful dhotis, waistcoats and eye-catching turbans come to be chosen by village belles dressed in colourful finery. Like all important tribal fairs, it is attended by tribes from the adjoining areas who indulge in dancing, competitive sports and other such forms of entertainment. There are over 300 stalls selling food, refreshments, exhibiting embroidery and cattle shows. The bachelors are usually identified by their large, colourful embroidered umbrellas and their distinctive hairstyles. These umbrellas, which have become emblems of the fair, are embroidered by the tribal youth for over a year. The fair is held around the Trinetreshwar Temple, which was dedicated to the three-eyed Lord Shiva and built at the beginning of the century. There is a kund (reservoir) here, and it is popularly believed that a dip in its waters is as holy as a dip in the sacred River Ganges. The reservoir is also known as papanshu (the destroyer of sins).

Tarnetar Fair

The venkatareddy Tarnetar Fair is one of the most happening events in Gujarat and is held at the Temple of Shiva or Trinetreshwar (three-eyed god), popularly known as Tarnetar. Popular belief associates the village with the Swayamwar (marriage) of Draupadi after Arjun performed the Mastsyavedh, an unparalleled feat of archery. Villagers from all over the state, dressed in their brilliant traditional costumes and exquisite jewellery, flock to Tarnetar. A veritable feast for the eyes is the Rasada, a captivating folk dance performed by hundreds of women moving gracefully in a single circle, dancing gaily to the accompaniment of four drums and jodja pava (double flutes). It is in the district Surendranagar.

Kutch Festival Or Rann Festival

The ‘Kutch Festival’ or the ‘Rann festival’ is celebrated at the time of the Shiv Ratri in February/ March. The center of the festival is Bhuj in Kutch. It has crafts, fairs and folk dances, and music and cultural shows, all organized by Gujarat Tourism. Tours are also conducted out to the ruins of Dhola Vera, a city that was once a part of the Indus Valley civilization. The Kutch region in Gujarat abounds with splendid beaches, fascinating wildlife, and beautiful palaces and monuments.

Music Of Gujarat

The folk music of Gujarat is known as Sugam Sangeet and has acclaimed world-wide fame. The range of musical instruments utilized in Gujarati folk music includes turi, manjira, ektaro, jantar, zanz pot drum, prabhati, dhol and ravan hattho. Bhajans are also incorporated in their folk songs. Bardic tradition is another major type of folk Gujarati music.

Dance Of Gujarat

Since Gujarati people are quite enthusiastic and amiable, they have many traditional forms of dance. The four major forms of dance are Dandiya Raas, Garba, Padhar, and Garbi.

  • Dandiya Raas is performed by both men and women and utilizes the movement of bamboo sticks, known as Dandiyas. It has ancient roots and was believed to be played by the beloved Gopis of Lord Krishna.
  • Garba is usually performed by the females in a circular formation. It is performed with reverence for the feminine form of divinity.
  • Garbi is traditionally performed by only the men and incorporates the use of instruments like dhol and manjiras.
  • Padhar is mainly performed by the rural communities near Nal Lake.

Engagement ceremony Of Gujarat

In many Gujarati communities, the engagement ceremony is known as ‘Goad Dhana’ which does not include a ring ceremony. (in Gujarat Script, ગોળ-ધાણા), which literally means “Jaggery and Coriander seeds” and refers to the practice of distributing a small amount of jaggery mixed with coriander seeds.

Marriage ceremony Of Gujarat

Marriage is a highly auspicious occasion in Indian culture. According to the Vedas, the Hindu scriptures, marriage is a sacred lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. It is considered to be the strongest of all social bonds and is the initiation into a lifetime of togetherness.

The Vedic wedding ceremony consists of prayers, invocations, and vows recited in Sanskrit, the most ancient surviving language. The Vedic wedding ceremony dates back to over five thousand years and is performed under a decorated canopy, the mandap. The four pillars that surround the mandap represent the parents of the bride and groom. This signifies the important part they have played in raising their children to become the responsible adults they are today. The ceremony is performed before a sacred fire, or agniaa, which is the eternal witness of the marriage, and all vows are taken.

Parts of the ceremony

Every Hindu ceremony begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha, the deity of peace and wisdom. This is done so people can find strength within themselves to remove any obstacles that may arise.

Varghodo (Wedding Procession)

The original form of a barat is a procession from the groom’s house to the bride’s house for the wedding ceremony. The wedding day begins with the Mangal Vadya, the playing of Shehnai (a traditional wind instrument) and Dhol (Indian drum).

Swagatam (Welcoming the groom and his family)

The groom and his family are greeted at the doors of the mandir (temple) by the bride’s parents and family. The mother of the bride then greets and welcomes the groom and his family into her own family. She blesses the groom by placing a tilak (red dot) on his forehead. The groom is then led to the mandap where the wedding ceremony will take place.

Ganesh Puja (The worship of Lord Ganesh)

Madhuparka (Welcoming the groom)

While the groom is sitting under the mandap the madhuparka is performed where his feet are washed by the bride’s parents. He is then offered panchamrut, a drink composed of milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, and sugar.

Kanyaa Daan (Giving away of the daughter)

The bride accepts her change of status from an unmarried woman to a wife by spreading Turmeric powder on her hands. Kanya Daan is performed by the father (or uncle or guardian) of the bride in presence of a large gathering that is invited to witness the wedding.

Vivah (Wedding)

The bride and the groom face each other, and the priest ties their garments (the bride’s saree to the groom’s shirt) in a knot, symbolizing the sacred union. The bride and the groom garland each other and exchange the rings. Next, the nuptial fire, symbolizing the divine witness, and the sanctifier of the sacrament, is installed and worshipped.

Both the bride and the groom grasp their hands together and pray to God for His blessings. Samagree, consisting of crushed sandalwood, herbs, sugar, rice, ghee (clarified butter), and twigs is offered into the sacred fire to seek God’s blessings for the couple.

Mangal Phera (Circumambulation of the sacred fire)

The groom holds the bride by the hand and both walk four times around the sacred fire. Both offer oblations and recite appropriate Vedic hymns to Gods for prosperity, good fortune, and conjugal fidelity. They touch each other’s heart and pray for union of their hearts and minds.

Saptapadi (Seven sacred steps)

This is the most important rite of the entire ceremony. Here the bride and the groom take seven steps together around the sacred fire (Agni) and make the following seven promises to each other: As per the Vedic rituals, the groom sings “With God as our guide, let us take”:

  1. The first step to nourish each other
  2. The second step to grow together in strength
  3. The third step to preserve our wealth
  4. The fourth step to share our joys and sorrows
  5. The fifth step to care for our children
  6. The sixth step to be together forever
  7. The seventh step to remain lifelong friends
  8. The perfect halves to make a perfect whole!

The Satapadi ceremony concludes with a prayer that the union is indissoluble. At the end of this ceremony, the groom and the bride become husband and wife.

Mangal Sutra

The Mangal Sutra Dharana is the tying of the thread containing the marks of the Vishnu or Shiva on the neck of the bride by the groom.

Suhaag or Sindhoordana

The groom places sindoor (red powder) on the bride’s hair symbolizing her as a married woman.

Aashirvaad (Blessing)

The groom’s parents bless the couple and offer clothes or flowers to the bride, symbolizing her joining the groom’s family. All those assembled at the ceremony shower flowers on the couple and bless them completing the marriage. Kanya Viday;- The Bride is taking ashirwad from his relatives ( Father, mother, brother, sister, Mamas and all the relatives), the most difficult moments for Father, who is now handing over his daughter to the groom`s Family forever with very much emotional posture, it’s a very very difficult time, everyone is with tears in their eyes, that’s why its call Vasmi Viday.

Gujarati cinema

The Gujarati cinema dates back to 9 April 1932, when the first Gujarati film Narsinh Mehta was released. Leeludi Dharti (1968) was the first color film of Gujarati cinema. After flourishing through the 1960s to 1980s, the industry saw a decline. The industry is revived in recent times. The film industry has produced more than one thousand films since its inception. In 2005, the Government Of Gujarat announced a 100% entertainment Tax Exemption for Gujarati films. The Gujarati cinema is also known as ‘Dhollywood’ or ‘Gollywood’

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