Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Today is Gauri Puja, here’s the reason it is celebrated
In many regional cultures, Gauri is considered to be Ganesha’s sisters — Jyestha and Kanishta, who have come looking for him. Two idols of Goddess Gauri are brought home and worshipped by people with elaborate rituals.Updated: Sep 15, 2018 09:13 IST
During the 10 days of Ganapati festival, many communities in India perform Gauri Puja. This year, Gauri Puja begins on September 15 with the avahan (welcoming) of the goddess Gauri, and ends on September 17th with visarjan.
In many regional cultures, Gauri is considered to be Ganesha’s sisters — Jyestha and Kanishta, who have come looking for him. Two idols of Goddess Gauri are brought home and worshipped by people with elaborate rituals. Some people also believe Gauri to be a form of Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha’s mother. In some regions, these two sisters are believed to be goddess Saraswati and Lakshmi, who are the daughters of Ma Durga. Gauri Puja is done to welcome wealth and prosperity into the home.
The rituals are conducted over three days, starting from the third or fifth day as per traditions followed by various communities. The first day is called Gauri Avahan, where the Goddess is invited into the home. The second day is when the actual Puja takes place. And on the third day, the idol is immersed in a process called Gauri Visarjan.
When the idols arrive, the women of the house perform aarti and welcome the goddesses. The idols are set up on a decorated pandal. In many homes, Gauri’s feet are drawn on the floor from the entrance of the house till the altar. The idols are decorated with new clothes and ornaments, especially ones worn by married women like Mangalsutra and toe rings, and the altar is decorated with mango leaves and flowers. The women of the house also dress up in a green sari, just like the goddess, as green symbolises harvest and fertility.
During the visarjan, the ceremonial send-off, the idol is offered vermillion and turmeric, a piece of cloth, money, betel leaves and nuts. These are also given to other married women. After this, the idol is taken to a water body and immersed, concluding the three-day festival.
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