Ganpati Bappa Morya…… Mangalmurti Morya!!!!
My city and the entire of the state of Maharashtra today gears up to celebrate the 10 day Ganeshotsav festival. Today being the first day……… Ganesh Chaturthi. (For more details read here).
The most important aspect of this festival is the family bonding and family get togethers. Ganeshotsav is celebrated in most households in Maharashtra. Idols of Ganesha / Ganpati are worshipped. Ganesha is treated like a favorite family member who is visiting the family and he is lovingly served with delicious modaks (His favorite) and lots of other dishes, which the family gets together to prepare. Everyday the family gets together to sing aarati after which prasad is offered. Every family has their own traditions regarding the duration of the festivities. For some the celebrations end after 3 days, for some 7 days and for some 10 days.
The last day of Anant Chaturdashi marks the end of the festivities by the immersion of the idol signifying the Lord’s return back……. only to await for another year for his arrival. Huge processions accompanied with dancing and dhol tasha are taken out giving Ganesha a royal farewell.
Ganeshotsav is also celebrated on a very large scale by different clubs. That is a gala affair and attracts a lot of crowds. Very huge idols of Ganesha are prepared with lots and lots of mindblowing decorations and fanfare. My favorite are the Lalbaugcha Raja in Mumbai and Dagdusheth Halwai’s Ganpati in Pune….. both are considered wish fulfilling and are revered by millions.