Hope everyone is having an amazing weekend! 🙂
I am having a great one and there is such a beautiful and a divine reason behind it! It is not just me, this weekend is special to all the people throughout India. It is because it is time to welcome our beloved deity, ‘Ganesha’ into our homes for the ‘Ganpati’ festival!
It is now day 2 of this festival (was too busy enjoying this festival yesterday to even write down this blog post)!
‘Ganesha’ has many names; rather he has 108 sanskrit names! We Hindus fondly call him as ‘Ganpati’, ‘Ganesha’, ‘Gajanana’ etc. This ‘elephant headed God’ holds a special place in our hearts. Irrespective of any religion or caste, people in Mumbai worship this Lord and participate in this festival with equal excitement. ‘Ganesha’ is a Hindu God who symbolizes new beginnings, success and prosperity. It is stated that he removes all obstacles in one’s path to success and helps him or her achieve their desires. He is believed to possess the knowledge 14 forms of education and 64 forms of art including dance, music etc; which is why people in India pray to him before beginning anything new.
The ‘Ganpati’ festival is my favourite festival and is one which brings me a lot of joy and happiness. It is 11 whole days long during which a lot of people bring home an idol of ‘Ganesha’ and worship him. The Lord is welcomed with a lot of love and anticipation and the idols are placed in a decorated area, prayed to and are offered simple yet elaborate meals, sweets etc. These are then distributed to everyone as ‘prasad’ or offerings. ‘Ganesha’s’ most favourite sweet is ‘Modak. It is a sweet made of rice flour with a filling of coconut and jaggery. These are prepared in every house during this festival and are my favourites too! Yum!
Plate filled with Modaks.
In addition to people’s homes, almost every street in India celebrates this festival with great excitement and vigour. They build stages and structures to place Lord ‘Ganesha’s’ idol into the streets and decorate entire streets with lights. The most famous ones out of these are the ‘GSB Ganpati’ & the’LalBaugcha Raja’. It is really delightful to see such happiness and love for this beloved God all around. Traditional devotional music, sweets and offerings, beautiful ‘Ganesha’ idols, lights and everything else make the surrounding air hum with excitement and devotion for the lord.
I would like to end this post with some issues I have with the way people celebrate this festival. Some of the saddening parts are regarding the use of traditional music nowadays which is sometimes replaced with bollywood music and the use of the DJ system, which does not exactly blend well with the true spirit of this festival. Many people also fail to realize the harm that extremely loud music and DJ causes to the elderly citizens which does not allow them to fully enjoy this festival. Festivals are meant to be enjoyed by all which is why I wish that the people who use loud music and DJ’s would maintain that degree and level of humanity towards our elderly by strictly maintaining the sound levels to permissible limits and to what they can hear without disrupting other citizens and their peace.
Let us all, young and old alike, enjoy this festival by showing our love for the lord and by gathering his blessings!
Off to enjoy the festivities for now, will add in any updates later! Have a beautiful weekend with the ones you love. Love, Pooja. 🙂