Gauri Pujan is the
festival of worshiping Goddess Parvati celebrated by Maharashtrians. It
is also celebrated in few other places near Maharashtra. Know about the
features of this festival which makes it unique. On the day of Gauri
Pujan all Maharashtrian women stay awake the whole night and play
traditional games like Zhimma and Phugdi. Read on to find more about
how Gauri Pujan festival is celebrated.
Festivals have a special importance in life of every individual. People from all the religions celebrate their festivals in their own way. One such festival is Gauri Pujan which resembles some Hindu festivals but has its own unique features. Parvati mother of Lord Ganesh is also known as Gauri. Gauri Pujan is all about worshiping Goddess Parvati or Gauri.
It is celebrated mainly in Maharashtra. It falls during the fourth or fifth day of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is regarded as the festival of Maharastrian women. It is the only time in a year when women enjoy themselves along with their friends. This Puja is very well known in Maharashtra as 'Mangala Gauri'. According to Hindus Mangala means holy and auspicious. To know more about this holy celebration read on.
Bringing Gauri Idol or Image Home
Just like Ganesh idol, Gauri idol is brought one day before Gauri Pujan or along with Ganesh idol. Gauri is brought home in form of the idol or a simple image on a paper. In Maharashtra most of the families bring Gauri idols but in some villages near Maharashtra people prefer to worship an image of Goddess Gauri. Most of the Maharastrians bring Gauri idol exclusively during Gauri Pujan day during Ganesh Chaturthi. There are some people who bring an image of Goddess Gauri on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi itself.
It is believed by most of the devotees that the holy rays come out of the Gauri image or idol during the period of Gauri Pujan which puts end to sufferings. Gauri Pujan also brings prosperity and well being to the mankind. Some people also worship the images of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri during Ganesh Chaturthi. This is done with the view of paying respect to the parents of Lord Ganesh.
Dressing up Gauri
If the devotees bring idol they drape the idol with a very fine and colourful sari. The devotees also decorate the idol with the jewellery like green bangles, mangalsutra, nose-ring, necklace etc. mangalsutra and green bangles are the most important jewellery which Hindu married women wear. Goddess Gauri is also offered a hair band of flowers known as Veni in Marathi which is worn on the backside of the head. Devotees also offer garlands to Goddess Gauri.
Gauri Pujan requires leaves and flower of a specific plant. It also requires systematic Puja to be done by inviting a Pujari at home. Performing Aarti is also necessary during Gauri Pujan. After the systematic Puja is performed all the women visit each others house to offer coconut, a piece of cloth, flowers, bananas, rice and even new saris to the idol of Goddess Gauri.
All the women wear new saris and all the traditional jewellery on this day. On the night of Gauri Pujan all the women gather together and sing Mangala Gauri songs. These songs have a traditional base and reflect the life style of Hindu married women. Males do not take part in this function. This occasion is considered important in the life of a newly married Maharastrian woman as her first Mangala Gauri.
All the women taking part in Mangala Gauri occasion are awake the whole night and play various games. The typical games known as Zhimmaa and Phugadi are played during this occasion. In Zhimmaa women clap hands and sing songs to tease each other. Phugadi is played by crossing both hands and holding each others hands just as we shake them. After holding hands in this specific position, women move round in circles and sing songs. The whole night is full of fun and joy for the women.
Gauri Visarjan is done immediately the next day of Gauri Pujan. It is done along with Ganesh Visarjan on sixth or seventh day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Before Gauri Visarjan Aarti is performed and the Prasad of cooked rice mixed with curd and cooked fenugreek leaves is offered to the idol. This Prasad is then distributed amongst the devotees as the blessings of Goddess Gauri.
The occasions like Gauri Pujan and Ganesh Chaturthi are major events for the Maharastrians. They celebrate it according to the Marathi calendar. These festivals are vital to bring families and friends together. These festivals play an important role in making the bonds of love stronger.