India is a land of festivals and many states celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi with great excitement and reverence. But Mumbai celebrates Ganesha Chaturthi with possibly the greatest vigour. Lord Ganesha is worshipped for 10 days either at home or in pandals every year. Along with the common men, various Bollywood stars celebrate the occasion each year and have fond memories associated with this festival. Many stars visit the Siddhivinayak temple, Mumbai, like a commoner to take part in the aarti. Modak is the favourite sweet of Lord Ganpati and is usually prepared in large quantities during festivities as it is offered with prayers in temples and pandals.
People adore Bollywood and follow the activities of their favourite stars at the time of Ganesha festival. Many Bollywood movies depict the Ganesha Chaturthi festival in their songs and dance sequences. Mumbai and Bollywood are incomplete without Lord Ganpati. Many famous song sequences are filmed with Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations as the back drop. Some famous songs feature big stars like Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt singing Ganpati Bappa Moriya and other Ganpati tunes. The inclusion of Ganpati songs in Bollywood is usually linked to the success of the movies and such movies have done amazingly well.
During this 10-day festival, one can spot many Bollywood movie stars in Ganpati pandals along with their family members. Many actors have grown up celebrating this festival every year while many have started celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi, after coming to the city. Bollywood actors bring Lord Ganpati to their homes for seeking blessings and organize aarti every day in their house. Actors like Vivek Oberoi and Sanjay Dutt with their respective families bring Ganpati idols to their homes every year and offer prayers.
Many Bollywood celebrities celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi wholeheartedly. Rishi Kapoor with wife Neetu Singh visit Ganpati temples to offer prayers with their daughter Riddhima. Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty have encouraged and supported the shift to eco-friendly Ganpati idols. They enjoy dancing with the crowd along with their son Viaan before Ganpati immersion each year. Akshay Kumar, his wife Twinkle Khanna and mother-in-law, Dimple Kapadia join the procession of Ganpati immersion every year after offering prayers.
Ayushmaan Khurrana had his upbringing in Chandigarh. He realized the importance and grandeur of Ganesha Chaturthi after moving to Mumbai city. He recognizes Ganpati as the Bollywood God. Before every shoot, Ganpati puja is done and no work starts before worshipping Lord Ganesha.
Salman Khan and his family celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi in a grand way in their Galaxy apartments. The entire family comes together on this occasion to welcome the Lord with great happiness. Many other celebrities from Bollywood join the celebration at their residence. All the festivities and excitement is visible at various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Most Bollywood stars post their pictures with Lord Ganpati idols. Along with participating in the festivities, these Bollywood stars bear social responsibilities; they promote peace, love and togetherness amongst people.
The whole atmosphere of the city transforms in these ten days of festivity. You can hear Ganpati Bappa Moriya slogans almost anywhere you go and watch people hop from one Ganpati pandal to another to offer prayers. A lot of cultural programs and carnivals are organized by the state government to make the festivity celebrations grand. Many people celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi by engaging in charitable activities. Many stars organize charity events to fundraise for needy people and celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with them.
Many people bring Ganpati to their home to bring positivity and peace. Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit, although away from India for long-time, celebrates the festival. Celebrities from television and Bollywood specially decorate their home to welcome Ganpati. People perceive Ganpati to be the God of good luck and bring Ganpati every year to seek his blessings for their family and home.
Mumbai has received terror threats on various occasions, but the true spirit of Mumbai can be seen during the Ganesha Chaturthi festival. People usually dance throughout the journey while going for Ganpati immersion. Unlike before, people and Bollywood stars are promoting eco-friendly Ganpati idols.
Ganpati comes and goes every year to come back again. After ten days of festivity, Ganpati is usually immersed in the sea. With great hope yet sadness people bid adieu to Ganpati every year and wish Ganpati brings success in their endeavours.