During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, which celebrates Lord Ganesha's birthday, another deity who is worshipped is Goddess Gauri. Many people bring home a small idol of Goddess Gauri in the same manner as the Ganpati idol is brought home - with a lot of fanfare and whoops of joy, often accompanied by the loud beating of drums.
Goddess Gauri is Lord Ganesha's mother. Before marriage, Her name was Gauri. She was eager to marry Lord Shiva, but her father did not regard Lord Shiva as an eligible husband for her due to his living like a medicant in the Himalayas. Nevertheless, Gauri set out to woo Lord Shiva and did a good deal of tapasya (penance), eventually winning the heart of Lord Shiva.
Goddess Gauri is considered to be one of the many forms of Shakti, the Mother of the universe, with lots of power. Goddess Gauri is symbolic of fertility and motherhood and of the victory of good over evil.
The idol of Goddess Gauri is always brought home on a Tuesday and kept for 1 ½ days. To invite Goddess Gauri home, first her footsteps are symbolically drawn at the threshold of the home, either with rangoli powder or with kumkum. A married woman of the family brings the idol inside the home. The idol of Goddess Gauri is placed next to the idol of Lord Ganesha and besides Her idol is placed a kalash (copper pot); the kalash is a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva. Goddess Gauri is then worshipped with an aarti and prayers. The next day, a special meal is cooked for Goddess Gauri and this cooked food, along with sweets and fruits are offered to Goddess Gauri - these offerings are known as Naivedya.