Friday, 8 April 2016

G for Ganesh Chaturthi



Ganesh Chaturthi is the largest Festival in Maharashtra & adjoining states. It is also known as Vināyaka Caturthi, Gaṇēśa Caturthī or Vināyaka Cavithi & is the Hindu festival celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Lord  Ganesha. Celebrations are traditionally held on the fourth day of the first fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in the month of Bhaadrapada in the Hindu calendar, usually August or September in the Gregorian calendar. The festival generally lasts ten days, ending on the fourteenth day of the fortnight (Anant Chaturdashi).

Celebration :

The festival is celebrated in public and at home. The public celebration involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary shrines) and group worship. At home, an appropriately-sized clay image is installed and worshiped with family and friends. At the end of the festival, the idols are immersed (and dissolve) in a body of water such as a lake or pond.

It is celebrated throughout India, especially in Maharashtra. In Maharashtra it is a grand celebration along with dance & dhol and tasha (local musical drums).



The festival begins with the selection and installation of a clay murti (idol). At home, families decorate a small, clean corner with flowers and other colourful items before installing the idol. Public preparations begin weeks in advance with temporary structures (such as mandapas and pandals) funded by contributions from local residents and businesses. When the idol is installed, it and its shrine are decorated with flowers and other materials.

Foods

The primary sweet dish during the festival is modak (in Marathi). A modak is a dumpling made from rice or wheat flour, stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery, dried fruits and other condiments and steamed or fried. Another popular sweet dish is the karanji (karjikai in Kannada), similar to modak in composition and taste but in a semicircular shape. This sweet meat is called Nevri in Goa and is synonymous with Ganesh festival amongst the Goans and the Konkani diaspora.

Mythological Reference :

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day Hindu festival celebrated to honour God Ganesha's birthday, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ganesha is known by 108 different names and is the Lord of arts and sciences and the deva of wisdom. He is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies as he's considered the God of beginnings. He's widely and dearly referred to as Ganapati or Vinayaka.

There are two different versions about Ganesha's birth. One has it that Goddess Parvati created Ganesha out of dirt off her body while having a bath and set him to guard her door while she finishes her bath. Shiva who has gone out, returned at that time, but as Ganesha didn't know of him, stopped him from entering. An angry Shiva severed the head of Ganesha after a combat between the two. Parvati was enraged and Shiva promised Ganesha will live again. The devas who went in search of a head facing north of a dead person could manage only the head of an elephant. Shiva fixed the elephant's head on the child and brought him back to life.


The other legend has it that Ganesha was created by Shiva and Parvati on request of the Devas, to be a vighnakartaa (obstacle-creator) in the path of rakshasas (demonic beings), and a vighnahartaa (obstacle-averter) to help the Devas.

Aditya Sinha
08.04.2016

That’s for today with F. Tomorrow it would be another festival with “G”
List of Other Festivals : Anant Chaturdashi, Akshay Tritiya ,Buddha Purnima, Basant Panchmi, Baisakhi,  ChhathaDiwali/DeepawaliEaster, Festival of Breaking Fast - Eid ul Fitr

For my parallel second Challenge blog with A pls visit : Let the Soul Pour
For other A to Z challenge blogs visit : A to Z Challenge 2016