Swarna Gowri Vratha/Pooja is celebrated by girls and women in Karnataka and Andhara Pradesh. Goddess Gowri is the mother of Lord Ganesha. This festival falls in the hindu month of Bhadrapada, August – September by Gregorian calender. This year (2016) it is on 4th September. This pooja has a special significance for married women as it is believed that Goddess Parvati or Gauri blesses the husbands with longevity, wealth and prosperity.
A clay idol of Goddess Gauri is kept on a small silver or copper plate filled with rice. A small pyramid is also molded out of Turmeric paste to represent Gowri. The pooja is performed by the women with the priest in the background chanting mantras and giving instructions. The goddess is showered with many pooja items like flowers, leaves, kumkum, turmeric powder and 16 line Gejjevastra.
Picture – 16 line Gejjevastra
A thread colored with turmeric powder with 16 knots is worshipped by the women and this will be tied on their right hand by the other women. On this day women buy new clothes and glass bangles and wear these during the pooja.
Delicious food is prepared on this day and offered to the goddess. Dishes like Chitranna (colored rice), Payasa (pudding), Kayi Holige (a sweet bread stuffed with coconut mixture), Tovve, Saru /Rasam, Kayi Kadabu, Palya (Vegetable dish), Kosambari (salad) and Ambode or bhajji (deep fried fritters) are prepared and relished together by everyone at home.
After the pooja, women exchange decorated bamboo plates (mora) filled with nine types of grain (navadhanya), along with Jaggery, bangles, turmeric, a blouse piece, kumkum, betel leaves, fruits and nuts and dakshina/money. This is known as Morada Bagina. Women perform the pooja at their maternal homes as a mark of respect and gratitude to their parents.
The next day, Gowri is given a warm visarjana / send off by offering Udi (offering all the sacred items like Turmeric, Flowers, Vermilion, Blouse piece, Rice, Betel nuts and leaf, Turmeric root and dry Coconut) and the clay idol is immersed in water along with Lord Ganesha’s idol.
Picture – Gowri Udi