Long drawn celebrations and festivities are a part of the social and cultural fabric of India. Among the many religious and social customs that mark the diverse festive calendar of Indians, is a very important religious occasion – Ganesha Chaturthi, a celebration about the birth of the Elephant-headed god, Ganesha. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm especially in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Lord Ganesh is worshipped before the beginning of all big events to bless people, for granting wisdom and eventful successful undertakings. There are special programs in the temples, aarti and decoration that celebrates the birth of little Ganesha in the Lord Shiva‘s family. Ganesh Chaturthi festival usually comes between August – September.
Ganesha Chaturthi in most places in India is a day to invoke Ganesha, the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. On this day, devotees worship Ganesha idols, perform the aarti and offer prasad of fruits and sweets, especially modak, which is considered to be the favorite of Lord Ganesha. In several places, clay idols of Ganesha, big and small, are made months in advance and thousands of devotees take them home to worship. It is customary to immerse these idols in water once the festivities are over with a prayer requesting the god to visit his devotees again the following year.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra
Lord Ganesha, the deity of wisdom, is the most loved in Maharashtra and Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with the most grandeur. In August, preparations for the auspicious day when Lord Ganesh was born – begin with great enthusiasm. It is an 11-day festival, beginning with the installation of beautifully sculpted Ganesh idols in homes and large pandals, colourfully decorated, depicting religious and cultural themes.
The Ganesh idol is worshiped and many cultural events are organized. People throng the huge pandals to catch a glimpse of their favorite God. Visits to friends and family to offer prayers and join the celebrations, and partake some delicious food are looked forward to by all. It is also a great chance to gorge on modaks (steamed rice-flour dumplings with a succulent coconut and ghee filling), since they are considered to be the Lord’s favorite food. On the 11th day comes the time to bid farewell to Ganesha. People take the idols in procession with accompaniment of music and dance for immersion in the sea or nearby river or lake.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Rajasthan.
The people of Rajasthan are deeply religious. Their religious bent of mind is reflected through the way they celebrate each festival. The state is colored in a new color of divinity with the advent of Ganesh Chaturthi. The festival commemorating the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha – The Remover of Obstacles, God of Prosperity and Good Fortune, is yet another reason to bind people together in one string.
Celebration in Jaipur
The famous Ganesh temple at the Moti Doongri Rd, Jaipur celebrates the birth of the Indian elephant god the Vighnaharta Vinayak Lord Ganesh (remover of all obstacles)‘s birth with full enthusiasm. There are various special events planned at the Moti Doongri temple of Jaipur during the Ganesh Chaturthi week. This year the festival falls on a Monday, so people traveling from Delhi, Gurgaon and other cities can easily have 3-4 days of excellent vacation.
Celebration @ Chokhi Dhani Village:
Yes, we know that Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. But since Rajasthanis celebrate each and every festival, so why not celebrate this Ganesh Chaturthi in Rajasthani style by having Rajsthani cuisine, Rajasthani dance and music? You can also visit Kalagram at Chokhi Dhani village to see some of the beautiful work done by artisans and find yourself a Ganesha that will bring abundance, joy and prosperity in your life.