Gaura Parva Festival is celebrated in Doti, Dadeldhura, Kailali and Kanchanpur district of western Nepal and Almoda, Kumaun and Gadwal of India dating back since time immemorial. This festival continues for three days since Shrawan Sukla Panchami or Bhadra Krishna Panchami according to the Lunar Calendar. The people called Ujala ( Bright) Gaura on Sukla Panchami and Kalo (dark) Gaura on Panchami. Especially women of western Nepal celebrates Gaura Prava Festival in much, rejoicing, dancing, singing and feasting in Panchami (first day of the festival) married women bring five different grains names Biruda (kwati) by means of sorcerer from the market. On Sasthi (second day) they pour the five different grains in a water pot. On Saptami ( last day) the married women take part in the major event that occurs on that day. The worshipper takes a holy bath in the nearest river offers their prayer offering one hundred and eight fruits and took fast the whole day.
They pull up to uproot five different plants of paddy, sesamum or asalu, saun, balballu and opamarga from the field to make effigy or doll of Goddess Gaura(Gauri or Durga). They also make seven knots of thread representing Sapta Rishi (seven Ascetic) placing in a bamboo basket with Dubo (bermudagrass) The doll of plants of Gaura brought in the house of an elder of superior of the village or town. Surrounded half portion by male and half portion by female people of the village. Singing songs with musical instruments to please Goddess Gaura(Gauri or Durg) they worshipped a goddess for the peace and prosperity of the members of their family.
According to their traditions, the woman constructs a mound with a small pit in the center of cow dung and pour sacred water and milk in the pit considering the lake of Mansarovar or Ganga Jamuna. Before they end Gaura Parva Festival, women people circumambulate three to five times in the doll of Gaura made by five different plants and wear a garland of Dubo (Bermuda grass) and offered sacred water to Surya (Sun god)
Gaura Parva Festival ends with a grand feast in the house-elder or superior person of the village at that time the sorcerer of the village throws the doll of Goddess Gaurain the nearest river or pond. According to the legend, the astrologers of Himalaya the father of Parbati fixed and find out an auspicious date of marriage of Lord Shiva with Parbati on the Shrawan Saptami. So the people of western Nepal celebrated Gaura Parva that day.
The myth of Gaura Parva Festival
Once King Sahasra Arjun of Haribansi (a race of hari) donated his kingdom to a Brahman of Bhrigubansi (a race of Bhrigu). After the death of the king his son, crown prince requested the Brahman to return back the kingdom donated by his father. The Brahmin refused to return back the kingdom. So the crown prince gave affliction and terror to the Brahman. He ran away to save his life in Himalaya. Where the crown prince killed the Brahman. The widow of the Brahman practiced severe penance and worship to Gaura(Gauri or Durga) to give birth to a son, so that he may get vengeance with the crown prince. Goddess Gaurapleased with the penance of the widow Brabmanni. As requested the widow Brahmani’s son was born. The newly born child was as bright as the sun. As soon as the crown prince approached to kill the child he lost his eyesight by the flash of the baby. They consider Goddess Gaura as a powerful goddess so since that time women of western Nepal celebrated the Gaura Parva festival.
Once “Pichasaini” spirit of a dead woman dwelling in one’s body. She is suffering from tremble. The other women member of the family worship Goddess Gaura(Gaurior Durga) to driving away from the spirit of dead woman “Pichasaini” out of the body of one of the woman members of the family. They worshipped and offered large plates of food including many delicacies to Goddess Gora, they also took fast. According to their wishes, Goddess Gaurafulfilled their wishes and she was released from the spirit of a dead woman. The dead woman was childless so nobody performed last rites for her so her spirit dwelling in other women’s bodies.