Easily one of the biggest festivals in India, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated across the country in extravagant fashion. Mainly celebrated by Hindu’s, the festival is so popular that people from other cultures and religions also join in. It is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha and to seek his blessings as Ganesh Chaturthi is considered an auspicious time where Lord Ganesh fulfills the wishes of his devotees.
Celebrations usually involve bringing home a eco friendly Ganesh idol that is worshipped for 10 days straight. It’s on the 11th day of the celebrations, that the grand Visarjan is conducted. This process involves submerging a Ganesha idol in a water body while traditional music dedicated to Ganesha is played in the background. Singing, dancing and of course, food are all part of the proceedings as well. Modaks are Lord Ganesha's favorite and equally enjoyed by his devotees.
This year, if you're looking to experiment and try chocolate modaks instead of the traditional ones, check them out.
These celebrations are practiced on quite a large scale too. Temples, colony clubs and others organize extremely large-scale celebrations, pooja’s and more. To ensure the same is conducted as it should be, the Ganesh Chaturthi puja Samagri items are collected well in advance and planning is done accordingly. After all, what’s the point of a pooja if it’s conducted using the wrong samagri items or in the wrong order.
The interesting bit about this festival is the fact that different regions of the country celebrate it with varying degrees of enthusiasm and in different styles too. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Gujarat are the states that have the biggest celebrations as Ganesh is widely worshipped across these regions. Having said that, Goa, Karnataka & Kerala also enjoy large scale celebrations.
Celebrations differ based on where the ceremonies are taking place. For example, if the celebrations are being organised by a club or a group of people, they tend to be in large open grounds and tend to have a party like atmosphere. Such celebrations take a lot of planning that begins well before the festival is nearing. Plus, these events usually see large scale donations being made to the temples or communities organising them. The purpose of these donations is to give back to the poor. They say making donations during this period is highly auspicious and will increase your likely hood of being blessed with good fortune and protection.
However, when the same is being celebrated at home, things are little bit more subtle and focused. Prayers are conducted, offerings are made, and people hope to receive Lord Ganesh’s blessings.
Ceremonies conducted on a large scale aren’t quite so straight forward and might involve organized plays, dances and food. People even line up to make their offerings to the Lord Ganesha. As far as donations are concerned, family members (including relatives) create their own pool of money that they use to donate to poverty-stricken areas around their homes. Sometimes, they even use that money to buy clothing and other essentials for the poor. Old clothes, toys etc can be donated too during this festival.
So, what are you doing this Ganesh Chaturthi? Let us know in the comments below.