Here comes Trithiya (third day) of Bhadrapada Maasa and it’s time to chant Gowri, the mother of Lord Ganesha. The “Swarna Gowri Vratha” that is normally celebrated on this day before Ganesha Chaturthi has special significance for married women as it is believed that Goddess Gowri blesses their husbands with longevity and prosperity. It is said that Goddess Gowri had been to her mother’s house on this day and the next day, her son Ganesha got her back to Kailasa , the abode of Lord Shiva.
To mark this, even today many married women go to their maternal house to offer this pooja. A small cone of turmeric paste is made to symbolically represent “Swarna (Gold) Gowri”.
Once the pooja ritual is over, women tie the sacred thread, coloured with turmeric powder in 16 knots to their right wrist. This is to indicate 16 long years of pooja performed by Goddess Gowri to obtain Lord Shiva as husband.
Married women and young girls exchange ‘bhagina’ - bamboo winnowing fan, enclosing grains including rice, toor dal, urad dal, moong dal and also jaggery, tamarind, salt in packets. It also includes a blouse piece, coconut, money and flowers.
It is said that in olden days, poojas were performed on the banks of the river and therefore the contents of the bhagina including grains would serve a family of 10 members. But nowadays, it is just a tradition and so, reduced to small packets.
After Ganesha’s pooja next day, Gowri is also immersed in lakes the same way. Before immersion, people offer “Udi”.
This contains turmeric, vermilion, rice, leaf and betel leaf, which is normally given to the daughter who leaves her mother’s house.