Swarna Gowri Vratha
Gowri Habba or Swarna Gowri Vrata is dedicated to Goddess Paravati, also known as Gowri. Married and unmarried women mainly observe the ‘Vratha’, and this Vrata mostly performed in Karnataka and other places in South India. An answer to How to do the Gowri Habba or Swarna Gowri Vratha is bit complicated as there are numerous regional and community variations in performing the ritual. The festival is also known as Ganesha Gowri or Ganesh Habba as Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the next day.
Performing Gowri Habba
On the Swarna Gowri Vratam day, the house is cleaned thoroughly. After bathing married women and young girls in the family dress up neatly. Some people perform the puja at home; others at the houses of relatives or friends and some opt for the nearby temples.
A small temporary shrine is erected using banana leaves and banana stem. The area to be decorated with mango leaves, turmeric, tulsi, and sandalwood paste. Those who already have a puja cabinet perform the ritual in it or a separate temporary area.
Next is the installation of the idol of Goddess Parvati or Gowri. There are several methods for this. The original purpose is to make an idol of Gowri with turmeric. Nowadays, people opt for the ready-made idols of Goddess Gowri which is available on the market. Some people choose for the family owned Swarna or gold idol of Gowri.
The idol of Gowri, which is decorated neatly with clothes, is placed on a bed of rice or wheat or other cereals. Some people put a Shiva linga and Ganesha idol along with the idol of Parvati. Flowers and green leaves are mainly used to decorate the idols. Some people also opt for a Purna Kumbh.
A 16-knotted thread is prepared for the puja and some people tie it on their hands. (Perhaps indicating the 16 long years of intense austerities performed by Goddess Parvati to obtain Lord Shiva as husband).