Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India SCFI
Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi on 25th August 2017

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration in Public

Ganesh Chaturthi, a widely celebrated festival of India. Apart from its religious aspect, it is a festival of great economic importance in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. Many businesses, artists and industries earn a substantial living from this festival. It is a ten day festival celebrated from the fourth day (Shukla Chaturthi) to fourteenth day (Anant Chaturdashi) of the waxing moon period in the month of Bhadra according to the Hindus. This festival is celebrated with great extravaganza throughout India especially in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Goa and Kerala.

The Extravagant Public Celebrations Of Ganesh Chaturthi Include:
  • Wide Scale Organization: Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in public is organized by the youths of the neighbourhood. The preparations of this festival begin few months before the festival commences. Huge amount of money is collected by the organizers of a locality to meet the exorbitant expenditures involved in the celebration of this festival. Adroit artisans work round the clock to make massive idols of Ganesh to be stationed at the various mandaps or temporary shelters.
  • Pandals (Canopies) and Idols: Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in public witnesses brilliant artwork of the pandals or canopied tents. Different states flaunt different kinds of idols and mandaps. Some mandaps are amazingly adorned with banana saplings, lights, flowers and other theme based decorations portraying either current events or religious themes. The idols are made up of different kinds of materials like organic products and coconuts in Karnataka. Plaster of paris idols are banned in state of Goa, where the idols are made of papier-mâché or clay.
  • Rituals: The rituals in this festival are strictly observed by the priests who immaculately dress in red silk dhotis and shawl. The idols are installed in the canopied tents and are decorated with flowers. Kalash, an earthen ware containing rice or holy water is established. The first ritual performed is Pranapratishtha or invoking life into the idol. It is followed by Shhodashopachara or the sixteen fold prayer.Various offerings like 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass, coconut, red flowers, 21 modakas and jaggery, are made to the lord. Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted and arti of the deity is done.
  • Festivities: Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in public is a grand affair. It is celebrated with orchestral, theatrical and dance performances. Apart from the festivities, community services like free medical check-up camps and blood donation camps are set up and donations are also given to the poor and needy.
  • Festival Food: Temporary food stalls, displaying the delicacies of this festival are set up. Modak is the most popular festival food known by various names. Steamed Modak is known as ukadiche in Maharashtra, kozhukattai in Karnataka, Kuchchida modaka or kadubu in Kannada. Modak is a rice flour or wheat flour dumpling stuffed with dessicated coconut, jaggery and dry fruits. Now a days chocolate,banana modaks are available.The worship of this deity concludes with the offering of twenty one modaks.
  • The ten day festival comes to an end with the Visarjan (immersion) of the idol in water. Magnificent grand processions with amazing floats are seen on the streets. Millions of people flock on the streets to witness these huge processions.

Thus Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in public is a pompous one especially in the state of Maharashta. The sound of slokas, hymns, mantras, drumbeats and chanting of Ganapati Bappa Morya echoes in the air of Mumbai.

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