Gauri Pujan is a pre-wedding ceremony that takes place only at the bride’s place. As the name suggests, in this ceremony, the girl is blessed and worshipped like Gauri or Goddess Parvati by her entire family.
The what and how of Gauri Pujan
The glowing, to-be-bride, dresses up in a new, beautiful saree, generally gifted to her by her mama (mother’s brother) and sits on a raised pedestal in the centre, with the idol/image of goddess Parvati in front of her, offerings, Jal and a bowl of husked rice or jaw. Before the ceremony begins, the girl first worships Parvati and seeks her blessings for a long and happy married life full of ever-lasting love.
The married family members form a circle around the girl and encircle her seven times. In each circle, the girl hands over some husked rice from the bowl lying in front of her to each of the encircling members while the family touches her feet and seeks blessings from her, as the bride is considered to be a form of Lakshmi. Everyone prays for the well-being of both the girl’s mother’s house and the new house she would soon be becoming a part of after the wedding.
After the 7 circles, the girl’s father makes one final circle around the girl, pouring jal around her. The bride is then adorned with dainty bichias (Toe Rings), payal (Anklets) and sometimes also a nath (Nose Ring). These bridal adornments are gifted by the girl’s mama and mami is the one who does the sringar of the girl with the pretty bridal jewellery that she gifts.
Gauri Pujan, becomes a solemn ceremony for most girls and her family as memories of the beautiful times spent together come flooding to their minds as they pray to Goddess Parvati for the well-being of the new life that the girl would be embarking on. However, once the girl’s mami showers her with gifts of jewellery and clothes, it soon lightens up the atmosphere and brings a smile back on the girl’s face. Infact, this ceremony is quickly followed up by the fun ceremony of tying the Kangna, where the bride’s bhabhi ties the Kangna on her wrist, tightly enough, so that her husband is not able to open it later!
This is a particular version of the ceremony and there may be differences in the performance and interpretation of ceremonies across families.