Ganapathi Bappa Moroya! And the he finally has arrived . Yes, the much awaited Ganesh Chaturthi has begun . Well it could be too safe for me to say that what Durga Puja is to Bengal, Ganesh Chaturthi is to the west part of India. Just when this celebration begins, a fever seems to spread across which just doesn’t come down for 10-long days. Yes! Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated for 10 long days in the state of Maharashtra.
Ganesh Chaturthi: The 10 Day Long Festival
Being from Bengal, my concept about Ganesh Chaturthi was just restricted to what we see in the movies and news. But just when I moved to the south and made some maharashtrian friends in my apartment partment, my concept about this 10 day affair totally changed. Earlier Ganesh Chaturthi was just another festival for me celebrated in Maharashtra, but since I unaware of the charm it brings with it.
People celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi with immense zeal and enthusiasm. When the festival rolls by, each and everyone seems to unite and the daily chores of life takes a pause. All that people do is enjoy the festival and of course food. People dedicate these 10 days to the festivities.
Ganesh Chaturthi: The Birthday Of Lord Ganesha
Photo by VinothChandar
Explaining the basic meaning of this festival, this is a Hindu festival which is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Well I would not set an Indian boundary for this festival quite popular across the globe. Lord Ganesha, is believed to be the destroyer of all obstacles. People in India consider this one deity to be supreme and start all their new assignments after taking his name. Ganesh Charturhi is celebrated during the Hindu month which is called Bhadra, the period is from the mid of August to mid of September. The festival is celebrated for 10 days at a stretch. Ananta Chaturdashi which is the 10th day of this festival is considered to be immensely important. As the people big good bye to Bappa they dance and enjoy to the fullest, ensuring they bid bappa a happy farewell. One thing to mark is while bidding good bye, people also request Lord Ganesha to come soon next year. Heard of this? “Ganapathi Bappa Moriya, Agle Baras Tu Jaldi Aa”.
Ganesh Chaturthi: 10 Interesting Things You Should Know About the Festival
Photo by mynameisharsha
1. Idol Of Lord Ganesha
This festival is celebrated across India, and every state or community has their own set of beliefs and customs. Talking about the Maharashtrain household, an idol of Lord Ganesha is brought to their home. It is seen that across the state of Maharashtra, almost every household bring lord Ganesha to their home.
2. Sthapna: A Position Of Respect
Ever saw a Lord Ganesha idol during this festival? Well the people place the idol of Lord Ganesha on a raised platform. This position is known as Sthapna, which means a position of respect. Well this raised platform is always transformed into something beautiful, like a throne. Well I feel it totally depends on how creative a person can be, isn’t it?
Photo by Vanxarp
3. Lord Ganesha Is Treated Like a Treasured Guest
Atththi Devo Bhava, Guest is God. Yes, Lord Ganesha is invited to the homes and treated like a treasured guest. The idol is decorated with new clothes and people pamper the god and try to be the best host.
4. Water, Honey & Milk, That is All The Lord Demands
Lord Ganapathi is fed with pure water, honey and milk only. Again as I said different customs have different colours.
Photo by thejasp
5. Friends And Family Visit Bappa
Most of the people give invitations to their friends and family to come and visit their divine guest Lord Bappa. People come and pay their respects to Ganpati Bappa and seek his blessings.
6. Puja’s & Rituals For 10 Days
Mostly the puja is done 2 times in the day. If people choose to keep the idol for 10 full days then they must perform the puja twice and offer fresh Prasad to the lord.
Photo by Vanxarp
7. Idol Can Be Kept for 2, 5, 7 or 10 days
People can choose to keep the idol of Lord Ganesha at their home for 2, 5, 7 or 10 days.
8. Uttarpuja: The Farewall
Uttarpuja is a kind of farewall party we can say which is perdormed on the last day of The Ganesh Chaturthi festival. It is only after the Uttarpuja that the people can carry the idol to immerse it in water, People can choose to do the immersion either in the sea, lakes, rivers, or even in a bucket of water.
Photo by Erlkonig
Visarjan is the final day of the festival. On this very day the celebrations touch the absolute peak. If you happen to visit Mumbai, you would see that the entire city comes to a standstill. Well hats off to the traffic police who manage the traffic with expertise.
10. Popular Visarjan Spots
The Powai Lake, beaches like Juhu Beach are the most popular visarjan spots in Mumbai. However people can always choose to do the immersion the way they like. Either they can do it in the sea, lake, river, or even in a bucket of water.
Well as an outsider, what fascinated me the most about this one remarkable festival was the way people get deep into it. The customs and traditions are simple but handled in a very outstanding way. Treating the Ganpati idol as a well-regarded guest and feeding the lord, each and every thing is perfectly taken care of. The most interesting part is the emptiness when the idol leaves home, the family in reality feels that deep sense of emptiness. Seeing people actually cry during the Visarjan would not be a rare sight.
With the changing time, the Ganesh Chaturthi too like most festivals has evolved. If you happen to see this festival you would get to see beautiful idols which are of various avtaars. Massive pandals and the feasts are even more elaborate. But at the end the core traditions which are to be followed around the festival always remain the same. The fever of excitement which this festival brings with it is the most unique part. Also the deep sense of longing for it to return when it is finally over is something that we can’t ignore. So Happy Ganesh Chaturthi, Hope lord Ganesha throws away all the obstacles that come in your way.
Featured Photo by thejasp