Celebrating Gaura Parba


The Gaura Parba is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated in Far-West Nepal observed by married women. The celebrations usually last four days.

After the heavy work of paddy cultivation, the people from the Far-West start gathering for Gaura Parba, which falls on Bhadra Astami. Married women play the main role and worship Shiva-Parvati for the longevity of their husbands and peace, prosperity and happiness in their families.

According to a legend, king Sahastrarjun of the Haihya dynasty had killed Brahmins of Bhrigun lineage to recover their asset. Then the widows of the family undertook fasting and offered prays and worship to goddess Bhagawati “Gaura” to protect their womanhood and punish the king. The goddess’ blessings (or curse) made the king blind. Then the king had to ask for forgiveness. Since then ‘Gaura’ has been considered a supreme being thus beginning the Gaura Parba.

Another version of the origin of the festival is that, Gauri the daughter of Himalayas, offered prayers with the desire of making lord Shiva her husband and finally she succeeded. Remembering this, women fast and worship to lord Shiva and Gauri as it is believed that it will result in peace, progress and prosperity. Young girls also fast in the belief that they will be blessed with a virtuous husband.

The first day of the Gaura, that is Panchami is celebrated in the temple of Shiva, where women immerse biruda, a mixture of five cereals (wheat, guras, gahat, mass,

kerau) in copper and brass utensils used to worship Gauri and also as parsadi. On the same day they also prepare the idol of Gauri by using various plants, mainly green paddy and wrap the idol with red cloth. On the last day, that is Asthami women put a holy thread around their neck known as doob-dhako, which represents the Saptarishi.

It is believed that Garba heralds more celebrations and also marks the end of the rainy season.

Young and old, men and women together sing songs to express their love and brotherhood. People dance dances like the Deuda, Magal, Phag, Chachari, Dhamari and Chaliya. Various delicious recipes are also prepared like batuk chukuwani, mada, laun, puri, sel-roti, kheer.

The festival ends with the consignment of the goddess Gaura under a tree, which is known as Gaura Bisharjan.