Gauri pooja is one of the most ancitent ritural followed in India. It is a three-day festival during which Goddess Gauri is worshiped. It follows on the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad Month of hindu calender i.e.; in the month of August or September.
In some regions Jyeshtha Gauri is worshiped as Goddess Mahalakshmi and in others to Goddess Parvati. In certain parts of Maharashtra, especially in Pune, Goddess Gauri is the sister of Ganapati. Arrival of Goddess Gauri in homes is regarded as the coming of the sisters of Ganesha and is said to bring health, wealth, happiness and prosperity. It is said that Goddess Gauri kills demon.
Gauri Puja startes from the third day after Ganesh Chaturthi which is known as the day of Gauri Awahan (Arrival). On this day married women brings two idols of Goddess Gauri – “the twin sisters or two different forms of Gauri” at there home. These two idols are decorated and worshiped for one and half day. Women also perform the community puja along with Haldi Kum Kum ceremony.
From the first day itself the process of worshiping goddess Gauri starts which continues till the third day known as the day of Gauri Visarjan (immersion). It is a belief is that Goddess Gauri come to visit their brother and resides in homes during the period and bless the family worshipping Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi. Naivedya (fruits, cooked food and sweets) are offered and Aarti is done as per Vidhi (performing rituals based on the Panchang or the right and auspicious timings) and praying to Goddess.
At same place people prefer the photograph of Goddess Gauri rather then the idols. They place a Kalash (copper pot) with a coconut on top considering it as the Goddess Gauri. The Kalash contains barks of 5 different trees and then consecrated with mantras
As the part of preparations for Gauri pooja people clean their house, decorate it with lights, colourful flowers and make rangoli out side the their home near the main entrenceto welcome the Goddess. Special food is prepared during the period.
Dates of Gauri Puja during Ganesh Chaturthi 2016 :
- 7 September 2016 - Arrival or Awahan of Goddess Gauri.
- 8 September 2016 - Gauri poojan.
- 9 September 2016 - Immersion or Visarjan of Goddess Gauri.