Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration & Indian Culture

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations & Indian Culture

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in most parts of the country with great fervor specially in Maharashtra and some parts of South India.

To appreciate this occasion, one must go to Mumbai where preparations begin months in advance. Images of Ganesha are installed within homes as well as in public places. Elaborate arrangements are made for lighting and decoration and Ganesha is fervently worshipped for about 7-10 days.
On the day of the Chaturthi, the last of the ten days dedicated to the elephant-headed god, thousands of processions converge on the beaches of Mumbai to immerse the holy idols in the sea. This immersion is accompanied by drumbeats, devotional songs and dancing. Every year, the largest Ganesh idol is installed at Khairatabad in Hyderabad, which is more than 30 ft tall. The Ganapati Mahotsav or the Grand Festival of Ganesha is the main festival in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. In Mumbai, factories commission the largest of the 6000 or so Ganeshas collectively.
Each of these idols can be up to 10 metres in height and are paraded on lorries decorated with multi-coloured lights. At the other end of the scale, little Ganeshas are placed in nukkads or street corners and in homes, and pujas are performed daily. The festival was started by Shivaji, the great Maratha ruler, to promote culture and a feeling of nationalism amongst his subjects who were fighting against the Mughals.
After his death the festival was celebrated but on a smaller scale. In 1894 when the British banned public assemblies Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak who felt that this was way of spreading the freedom message through a legitimate religious festival revived the festival.
On full moon day every idol is taken down to the Chowpatty beach accompanied by hordes of people singing and dancing and is immersed in the Arabian Sea.
Ganpati is the god of learning. He is addressed as the "Remover of Obstacles" ("Vignaharta"). His devotees believe that no enterprise will succeed unless he is invoked. The picture of Ganpati is often found on the doors of houses and printed on wedding cards. On the occasion of the Ganpati festival a large number of images are made of all possible sizes, and people buy them to keep in their houses as a divine guest for one and a half, five, seven, or ten days, after which the image is taken out ceremoniously and thrown into the river, sea or well for immersion or "visarjan". When he is immersed in the water, people sing,
 
"GANPATI BAPPA MORYA, AGLE BARAS TO JALDI AA,"
 

 

     
     
     


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