Banaras or Kashi is a city of celebrations. Not just festivals but even death are celebrated over here. One of the many festivals celebrated here is “Rangbhari Ekadashi”. It is observed on the eleventh day during waxing phase of moon in the “Phalgun” month last month of Hindu Calendar). This festival marks the beginning of Holi celebrations in the city.
As per Hindu Beliefs, Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on Mahashivratri (It is celebrated on 13th or the 14th night of the waning phase of moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun). It was on Rangbhari Ekadashi that Goddess Parvati came from her father’s home to live with Lord Shiva. Locals call this ritual as “Gauna”.
Every year, the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are carried on decorated Palakis from the house of previous Mahant (Head Priest) of Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The procession goes from there through the narrow alley and bylanes to the temple. During the entire course, the devotees play with colors and sing & dance along with many musical instruments. They offer gulal and flowers to the deities. Every path that the procession passes by is covered in the colors, flowers and the high spirits of the devotees.