During the spring-time Gangaur Festival in Udaipur, Rajasthan, women dress in their finest attire. Every color is present: bright pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, purples, greens, and blues. The special chosen wear yellow and red saris while carrying beautifully painted and dressed images of Gangaur (sometimes known as Parvati), Consort of Shiva, on little silver pillows atop their heads as they process through the narrow streets to nearby temples.
The processions begin in the evening on the banks of Lake Pichola at Gangaur Gat where each of the doll-like images is purified with water and honored with wreathes of flowers. As the women parade along, people reverently touch the images and say a prayer; others are grinning and laughing in celebration. Drums and other traditional instruments are heard through the town, and colorful lights and fireworks add to the excitement.
The ecstatically joyous atmosphere compelled me to join in the celebration, grinning and laughing along with the locals and other visitors as we followed the bobbing statues through the streets.