Why Is Gowri Ganesha Festival Celebrated?

Gowri Ganesha is an important festival which is celebrated in the southern part of India. This festival happens just a day before the popular Ganesh Chaturthi. Gowri Ganesha or Gowri Habba is a festival celebrated by married women.

Gowri Habba is usually celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Tritheeya (the third day of the first fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada) according to the Hindu calendar. Lord Ganesha festival is on the next day, i.e., Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (on the fourth day of the first fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada).

Gowri festival is mainly observed to promote married women's interests. Goddess Gowri blesses the married women with long life for her husband, fertility and prosperity. The Gowri festival celebrations are similar to the Varamahalakshmi Vratha, except that the deity is Gowri instead of Goddess Lakshmi.

The Gowri Ganesha festival is one of the important celebrations of South India. Take a look at the legends and significance of Gowri Habba.

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Legend Of Gowri Ganesha

The most common version of the birth of Ganesha goes like this. Goddess Parvati was alone in Kailash (Shiva's abode). So she created the statue of a boy with the dirt from her body and bestowed life into it. She named the boy Ganesha and left him to guard the door while she went to bath.

When Lord Shiva arrived at the gates of Kailash, Ganesha stopped him. Not knowing that Ganesha was Parvati's creation, Shiva chopped off his head in anger. When Devi Parvati came to know this, she was extremely upset.

Distraught, she went into a fit of rage. In all the confusion, Ganesha's head was lost. Lord Shiva ordered his followers to cut the head of the first animal they saw in the forest so that Ganesha's life could be restored. They happened to find a white elephant's head and thus, Ganesha has the head of an elephant.

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Rituals

On this day, married women, after bathing, wear new clothes and dress up the girls of the family. Then they do the 'sthapana' of either jalagauri or arishinadagauri (a symbolicidolof Gowri made of turmeric).

The idol of the Goddess is then placed on a layer of rice or cereals on a plate. The puja is to be performed with complete cleanliness and devotion.

A 'mandapa' or a canopy is built with banana stems and mango leaves around the idol. The idol is decorated with beautiful flower garlands and cotton. Women are supposed to tie a sixteen-knot thread known as the 'Gauridaara', on their wrist, as a mark of Goddess' blessings.

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Baagina Preparation

As a part of the vrata, an offering known as the 'baagina' is prepared. Baagina is a collection of different items such as the turmeric, kumkum, black bangles, black beads, a comb, a small mirror, coconut, blouse piece, cereals, rice, lentils, wheat and jaggery. Five baaginas are prepared as a part of the vrata.One of the baaginas is offered to the Goddess and the rest of the baaginas are distributed among married women.

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Significance Of Gowri Ganesha

On the day of the Gowri Habba, Goddess Gowri is worshipped with great devotion. Goddess Gowri is believed to be the incarnation of the ultimate source of power, Adi Shakti.

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Significance Of Gowri Ganesha

It is said that if one worships Goddess Gowri with full faith and devotion, she blesses the devotee with courage and immense power. She fulfils all the desires and helps in making the Chaturthi celebration successful.

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