Jyeshta Gauri is a festival dedicated to goddess gauri, mother of Ganapati(also considered as his sister in some communities) during Ganesh Chaturthi. This festival is widely celebrated in Maharashtra. The vidhi(method) of Gauri pooja is different in different regions of Maharashtra. In Malvan and Kokan, Jyeshta Gauri is also known as Gauri whereas in Marathwada and Vidharbh, they call it Mahalaxmi. Jyeshta Gauri puja is a three-day celebration. Where the first day is Guari Awahan i.e when the idol of goddess is brought home, the second day is Guari Pooja and third day is Guari Visarjan where the idol of the goddess is immersed in water.
In some regions, people use pital (brass), wood or paper faces for Guari which is called Mukhawata. Goddess Gauri’s arrival brings lots of happiness and enthusiasm. On all three days of the Gauri Pooja, people offer her different food(Naivedya). On arrival of Goddess Gauri, she is offered gulpoli, followed by bhakri and green leafy vegetable at night. The very next day, Gauri is offered kalya vatanyachi Usal, Vade, Varan Bhat, sweets, vegetables etc. In some regions of Maharashtra, the offered food consists of sixteen different vegetables, sweets and fruits.
During the puja, women wear complete traditional attire that consists of traditional saree, green bangles, red bindi and gold ornaments. Throughout the pooja, the women pray for the happiness and prosperity of their family. This is followed by jagran(all-night vigil) in the honor of Gauri, where women meet up to play traditional games, sing and dance on traditional/devotional songs and many other cultural activities.
On 3rd day of Gauri Pooja, idol of goddess is immersed in nearest pound or river which is called as Guari Visarjan. Some communities also offer curd rice to Gauri before Gauri Visarjan.
Special recipes for Gauri:
Red leafy Vegetable
Saat kappi ghavan
Kala Vatana Usal
Moong dal Vada