Flowers, Festival of

Flowers, Festival Of a classical festival of the Hindis, celebrated by the Rajpoots during nine days, in honor of Gauri, the wife of Mahadeva or Iswara. It takes place at the verinal equinox, the ceremonies commencing on the entrance of the sun into Aries, which is the opening of the Hindu year. Clay images are formed of Gauri and Siva, which are immediately placed together. A small trench is then opened in the earth, in which barley is sown. The ground is irrigated, and artificial heat supplied until the grain begins to germinate, when the women with joined hands dance round the trench, invoking the blessing of Gauri upon their husbands. After this the young barley is taken up and presented by the women to their husbands, who wear it in their turbans. Various ceremonies are then performed during several days within the houses, at the close of which the images are richly adorned and carried in a grand procession.

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