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Gowri Festival
Gowri Festival


Gowri Festival

Gowri Festival-Karnataka

About:

Gowri Ganesha Festival, also known as Swarna Gowri Vratam, is an important festival that coincides with the famous Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Karnataka and in some parts of Andhra Pradesh. It is observed on the third and fourth day in the Kannada Bhadrapada month and the festival is also known as Gowri Habba

An idol of Goddess Gowri (Goddess Parvati) is worshipped on the Gowri Habba day. Usually the idol is prepared using Turmeric or a clay idol of Goddess Gowri is also procured from the market. There are several regional variations in the observance. In some places, a clay idol of Ganesha is also worshipped. The main legend is associated with a creation of Ganesha from her own body Goddess Gowri.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva, the Hindu God of resolution, was away at a war. His wife Pavarti, wanted to bathe and having no-one to guard the door to her house, conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.

In the meantime, Lord Shiva returned from the battle but as Ganesha did not know him, stopped Shiva from entering Parvati's chamber. Shiva, enraged by Ganesh’s impudence, drew his sword and cut off Ganesha's head. Pavarti emerged to find Ganesha decapitated and flew into a rage. She took on the form of the Goddess Kali and threatened destruction to the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and the subterranean earth.

Location info:

Address:Karnataka,India
District: Karnataka,India
Best time to visit: October-March.

Climate/Weather:

During winter temperatures range from 32 degrees Celsius to below 20 degrees Celsius,Summer Average temperature is 34 degrees Celsius

History:

In 1893, Lokmanya Tilak, an Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter Tilak chose Ganesha as a rallying point for Indian protest against British rule because of his wide appeal as "the god for Everyman".Ganesha Chaturthi as a National Festival "to bridge the gap between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and find an appropriate context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them" in his nationalistic strivings against the British.His wife Pavarti, wanted to bathe and having no-one to guard the door to her house, conceived of the idea of creating a son who could guard her. Parvati created Ganesha out of the sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door and instructed him not to let anyone enter.

Importance:

Gowri festival is a Hindu festival celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a significant festival in parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu. Goddess Gowri the mother of Lord Ganesha and wife of Lord Shiva is worshiped through out India for her ability to bestow upon her devotees courage & power. Hindu belief has it that Goddess Gowri is the very incarnation of Aadhi Shakthi Mahamaya. She is the Shakthi of Lord Shiva. It is believed that on Thadige, or the third day of the month of Bhaadrapada Goddess Gowri comes home like any married girl comes to her parent’s house. The next day Lord Ganesha, her son comes as if to take her back to Kailasa.

Method of Celebration:

Gowri Habba:
Gowri Habba or festival is celebrated a day before Ganesh Chaturthi . It is a significant festival in parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu. Goddess Gowri, wife of Lord Shiva, the mother of Lord Ganesha and Lord Subramanya is worshiped through out India for her ability to bestow upon her devotees power, courage, valour. She is the most powerful of all the Goddess and is the very incarnation of Aadhi Shakthi Mahamaya. It is believed that on the thirteenth day Thadige of the month of Bhaadrapada Goddess Gowri is welcomed at her patents’ house. The next day Lord Ganesha, her son comes as if to take her back to Kailasa. The Swarna Gowri vratha is performed on the occasion, to appease the Goddess.

Swarna Gowri Vratha:
On this day, Hindu women and young girts are in new/grand traditional attire. They make either jalagauri or arishinadagauri a symbolic idol of Gowri made of turmeric and bestow her for Puja. These days ready-made beautifully painted and decorated clay idols of Goddess Gowri can be bought along with Ganesha statues, at the local market. The goddess’ idol is mounted in a plate, with a cereal rice or wheat in it. According to the Vrata, Asthis pooje is to be performed with 'suchi' cleanliness and 'shraddhe' dedication. A mantapa, generally decorated with banana stem and mango leaves, is built around the idol.

The Gauri is decorated with decorations made of cotton, vastra(silk cloth/saree), flower garlands, and ladies get their 'gauridaara' a sacred thread with 16 knots tied to their right wrists, as blessings of gauri and as part of the vratha. At least 5 baginas are prepared as part of the vratha. Each baagina usually contains a packet of arshina turmeric , kumkuma vermilion , black bangles, black beads (used in the mangalsutra), a comb, a small mirror, baLe bicchoLe, coconut, blouse piece, dhaanya cereal , rice, tur dal, green dal, wheat or rava and jaggery cut in a cube form. The bagina is offered in a traditional mora winnow painted with turmeric . One such bagina is offered to Goddess Gowri and set aside. The remaining Gowri baaginas are given to married women.

Gauri Habbada - Mangaladravya:
Another specialty of this festival is that the 'tavaru maneyavaru' the married woman's parents / brothers send gauri habbada - mangaladravya to the married girls of their family. Some send money as representation of mangaladravya. In South India many sweet and savouries like the delectable hoLige / Obattu, payasa, Huggi/chitranna and Bajji, Kosumbari are prepared and offer to the Deity before family and friends gather for a traditional get to gather. It continues to the next day with the celebrations for Lord Ganesha’s Festival .

Culture of Festivities:

The celebrations go on for 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi. On the 11th day, the statue is taken in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare through the streets to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash and  taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukar ya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year) is the slogan sang while immersing the idol. After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the statue to the river to immerse it.

Ganesha loves food, his favourite is Modak, hence is the main sweet dish during the festival. It is called modakam in South India. A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments. It is either steam-cooked or fried. Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikaiin Kannada) which is similar to the modak in composition and taste but has a semicircular shape.

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