Monday, August 24, 2009

Ganesh Chaturti

In India this is the season (August - November) of festivals. It starts with Krishna Ashtami followed by Gouri Pooja, Ganesh Chaturti, Dasahara and Deepavali (festival of lights). If one wants to be part of fun and frolic this is the best time to be in India. One can enjoy the celebrations in each of the festival which last for 1 to 12 days.


Lord Ganesh decorated on the first day at the temple

Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi for the first time was started by the great Maratha ruler, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, to promote culture and nationalism. Later the festival was revived by Lokmanya Tilak (a great freedom fighter) to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies. The festival provided the Indians a feeling of unity and revived their patriotic spirit and faith.


Lord Ganesh being worshiped at the temple

It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. He is worshiped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and auspiciousness in Hinduism. He is one of the most popular deities in Hindu religion. It is observed on the fourth day after no moon in the month of August - September as per traditional Hindu calendar. This is celebrated in temples, street corners and in individual homes. The elaborate arrangements are made for lighting, decoration. On these days, special prayers are performed in all Hindu homes and hymns and songs are sung in praise of Lord Ganesha. The festival is so popular that the preparations begin months in advance. The artists who make the idols of Ganesh compete with each other to make bigger and more magnificent and elegant idols. The bigger idols are 10 to 50 meters in height. The 12-day Ganesh Chaturthi ends with the immersion (Visarjan) of the idol on Ananta Chaturdasi day.

Design of Lord Ganesh done using half cut coconuts at the temple

In our family we celebrate it in the native place for one day. It is this time of the year all the family members gather for the celebration. All the members of family reach here on the previous day itself. The preparation start with the previous night, by cutting of vegetables for the next day. On the day of Chaturti the idol is placed in its rightful place and decorated with flowers of various types. All offer their prayers to him and take his blessings.


Lord Ganesh decoration at home over the past few years

These statues are then carried on decorated floats to be immersed in the sea after one, three, five, seven and ten days. In some places where there is no sea nearby it is immersed in the lake or well. Thousands of processions converge on the beaches to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This procession and immersion is accompanied by drum- beats, devotional songs and dancing.

43 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous and colorful captures, Rajesh! I always enjoy learning more about your beautiful and fascinating country!

Enjoy your day!

Sylvia

Asta said...

Hello Rajesh,

Wonderful pictures. I think this is magnificant. What a nice way to celebrate! Thanks for sharing with us.

Best regards
Asta

S B Tamare said...

How beautifully you have described the pretence of lord ganesh!
Chastity and beauty of your blog got mingled to form an ever last memory!
Thanks a lot really is being deserved by you.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Jai Ganesha !!!

Rush said...

amazing write up on the history...just loved looking back in time and knowing what and what came out of religious celebrations and how it all began!!!
thnaks Rajesh...Ganesh chaturthi being one of the fav festivals for me, this was a pleasant read ...loved it :)

pra said...

Really nice photos! The coconut ganesh is so innovative and beautiful!

J Bar said...

Wonderous.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Jacob said...

Fascinating...not much into religion myself, but it sounds like a fun time for family and friends.

Lovely photos, too.

Denise said...

Wonderful photos and a very informative post. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

bindu said...

The coconut ganesha is very unique - never seen anything like it before!

Mitr - Friend said...

Hi Rajesh,
Happy Ganesh Chathurthi...
My Travelogue

Arija said...

Wonderful for the whole family to assemble for a holy day not only to preserve the ties to God but also those of family.

Wolynski said...

Really gorgeous photos - you really have the most interesting information on India.

Hazel said...

Season of Festivals sounds a lot of fun. That's a very neat arrangement of the half-cut coconuts. I love the Lord Ganesh decorations very much!

Protege said...

Beautiful! So colourful, with all the fabrics and the flowers. It must be an incredible time of the year for you.
The photographs are stunning as well! :)I wish we would have something this festive in Scandinavia. We have Christmas, but the winter here is dark and depressive. And it is just ahead of us right now.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Rajesh: That was an interesting story about the ceremony from your world.

Carver said...

Wonderful photographs and a very interesting post about the festival.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, Thanks for visiting my blog. Come back anytime. I am enjoying yours. The temple and all of those gorgeous designs are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.
Betsy

Jeevan said...

Hope u had the same celebration and happiness at your native place with family. Very nice description and I have witnessed one immersion last year, and the excitements were more in between youngsters.

Aaarti said...

Woww... lovely colorful pictures... I guess Ganesh Chathurthi is celebrated with much more josh up north!!! for us its a simple puja!!

Asta said...

Hi Rajesh,

Now I got to see the 2 last pictures as well. The flower decoration is beautiful!

Best regards
Asta

Baron's Life said...

You describe it so very gracefully...I love it...great pictures...all this history and culture cannot be told in one story, so I am sure there is more to tell in future posts

fufu said...

my next destination would be india...

Regina said...

Great captures of the festivities.

Mehar said...
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Guillermo – CEO Localyte.com said...
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Danton said...

Always a load of information and coloful pics which is a joy to visit.

Diane AZ said...

Really enjoy learning about these festivals. I didn't know that the decorated statues were immersed in the sea, fascinating!

George said...

Thanks for a very informative post on the festivals of India. I have much to learn about Indian culture and you are a big help in that quest. Your pictures are beautiful.

Babli said...

You have also described very beautifully. Lovely post with nice pictures. Wish you a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

kRiZ cPEc said...

have to agree, very detailed post. Thanks for sharing.

Sumandebray said...

Great Insight!
nice images

exposemaximum said...

The first Ganesha is gorgeous

Anna said...

What a nice gesture. These celebrations are wonderful, and I am sure that those long preparations pay out on the end. Have fun and enjoy. Anna :)

Rajesh said...

Rush: Thanks for the appreciation. My interest in history allowed me to present this aspect.

Sylvia, Tamare, J Bar, Denise, Wolynski: Thanks for the appreciation.

Asta, Jacob, Arija. Protege, fishing Guy: Thanks, it is a nice way for the people to spend time together.

Hobo, Mitr, Deepak: Thank you.

Carver, Betsy, Regina, Danton, George, Babli. kRiZ cPEc: Thanks for the appreciation.

Bindu, Pra, Hazel: Thanks, the coconut Ganesha was made from the offerings to the God.

Jeevan, Anna: Thanks, this festival has always been best time of the year for me every year.

Aarti: Thnaks, it is more popular in Maharashtra. In Karnataka also it is good.

Baron: Thanks, I just wanterd to the culture of India as I see it.

fufu: Thanks, you are welcome.

Suman: Thanks. My interest in history allowed me to present this interesting aspect.

Diane: Thanks, they are immersed in water and people wish him to come back again next year.

Dharma Shots said...

Very interesting festivals Rajesh, thanks for sharing!

Indrani said...

Nice post for the meme Rajesh.
I particularly liked the shot with coconuts.

Rajesh said...

Dharama, Indrani: Thanks for the appreciation.

capturedalive said...

wonderful photos and description...

♫ Melody ♫ said...

Very nice pictures

Shobha said...

Beautiful idols of Lord Ganesha...nicely decorated...specially the one done with the coconut halves.

Rajlakshmi said...

wow amazing place :D
lovely and interesting post :)

Rajesh said...

Thanks for the appreciation.