Here comes the time of the year when Indians around the world will be celebrating to honour the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, fondly referred to as Ganpati or Vinayak. The festivities begin on 5th September this year with the murti sthapna (installation of the idol) at homes as well as in public places and celebrations will go on for 10 days. Ganpati is known as the God of Wisdom and also as the God of beginnings, hence it is customary to invoke his blessings at the start of any Hindu ceremony or ritual.
While Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated throughout India, in Maharashtra the festival is celebrated with great grandeur on a larger scale. One can say that Ganesh Chaturthi to Maharsahtra is like Durga Pooja to Kolkata. If you happen to be in the city of Mumbai or Pune during this occasion you will see numerous colourful pandals (temporary shrines) set up throughout the city. These pandals are beautifully decorated and a clay idol of The Lord is installed in them and worshipped every day. On the last day of the Pooja, a musical procession is carried out, typically with traditional instruments like “Dhol & Tasha”, and the clay idol is carried to be immersed in a large water body.
The foodies with a sweet tooth may want to indulge themselves in eating “modak”, a popular sweet dish during Ganesh Chaturthi, prepared from rice or flour and stuffed with grated coconut, jiggery and dry fruits. If you are a tea lover you can drop by at one of the many Parsi cafes in Mumbai or Pune and try their bun maska-chai combination.
Ganpati Bappa Moriya!!