What Makes Gouri Haar Important for all Marathi Brides to be

Maharashtrian weddings are class apart in their own right. These are short weddings, not comprising of long rituals. However, the rituals that are followed in these weddings give them a unique flavor, which makes them fun and enjoyable. It is said that traditionally, there were around 43 total pre, post and wedding rituals that were followed earlier in a typical Marathi matrimony alliance. However, over time, many of these rituals have become extinct. But despite that, there are some rituals which are considered most important till date, without which no Maratha wedding is considered complete. One of these important rituals is the Gouri Haar ritual, which is performed by the would be bride, just minutes before she enters the alter.

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The Gouri haar ritual:

The Gouri Haar ritual is the most important pre wedding ritual which is performed by the Marathi bride, just minutes before entering the alter for her wedding. As per the customs, the bride’s mother is not allowed to see the bride once she gets ready for the wedding. So after welcoming and feeding the groom and his family, the bride’s mother proceeds to a different location, while the bride sits in a Puja room, performing the Gouri haar.

Gouri haar is basically a pre-wedding ritual, where the bride offers prayers to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, just minutes before the actual wedding. All decked up as a bride, she wears a traditional yellow sari, a shalu, green glass bangles and a mudawlya. All these things are considered auspicious and are a must wear for a typical Marathi bride while performing Gouri haar. She then sits on a chaurang (low lying four legged stool) and offers prayers to the goddess of feminity, Parvati and her husband, Lord Shiva. The Bride collects rice in her hands and pours them over the idol of the goddess, seeking her blessings for a long and happy married life. She keeps repeating this unless the mahurata, or the auspicious time for the wedding arrives. Thereafter, she is accompanied by her Mama (maternal uncle) to the alter, for the main wedding ceremony and other rituals.

Importance of Gouri Haar for all Marathi brides’ to be:

Despite being a pre wedding ritual, Gouri Haar is considered one of the most important ritual for all Marathi brides. There can mainly be two reasons behind the same, one religious and the other, psychological. Both have been explained below:

  1. The religious aspect of Gouri haar: As per mythology, Goddess Parvati had done years of Tapasya to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Hence, by seeking her blessings, a bride is believed to be blessed with a long and happy married life.
  2. The psychological aspect of Gouri haar: A would be bride is a nervous wreck just before the wedding. At this time, she needs her mother to comfort her and give her confidence. However, Mothers of the bride are not allowed to attend the wedding in Maratha weddings. Hence, by doing this ritual, the bridal mentally substitutes Goddess Parvati as her mother, seeking her blessings. This surely helps her overcome all jitters.

Gouri haar an important ritual for the bride. Not only does she gets blessed, but also helps her keep calm and be ready to face the challenges of a married life.

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