The end of the monsoons brings with it several birthday celebrations. We just celebrated the birthday of Lord Krishna and now we are celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the remover of obstacles. Widely known as Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival always comes in the month of Bhadra or Bhadrapada (mid-August to mid-September).
How people celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi
- They purchase idols of Lord Ganesha and take them home.
- The family places the Ganesha idol on a pedestal, dresses it in new clothes, and decorates it with flowers.
- They offer pure water, milk, honey, flowers, fruits, and sweets to Lord Ganesha. They especially place before the idol plates of modak or rice dumplings stuffed with jaggery, coconut, and dry fruits. Modak is believed to be a favorite of Lord Ganesha.
- Devotees may choose to keep the idol in their homes for up to ten days although many immerse it on the evening of the same day.
- They perform puja twice daily for as long as they keep the idol in their homes.
- On the last day of Lord Ganesha’s stay in their homes, devotees perform an “uttarpuja.” They then carry the idol out of their homes and immerse it in a well, tank, lake, river, or sea. Some people even immerse their idols at home in a simple bucket filled with water.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Kudla
Aug 4, Sunday saw huge crowds of people flocking into markets to purchase fruits and vegetables. Almost all of them wanted to purchase moode moulds. Moode is a popular festival dish in Mangalore, made by filling moode moulds with idli batter and steaming them in a huge vessel. Devotees also purchased idols of Lord Ganesha, which were being sold in Car Street and Mannagudda, among other places.
Mangaluru is also home to several public celebrations (Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava). Large idols of Lord Ganesha are installed at Bunts Hostel, Sanganikethan, Nehru Maidan, and Kulshekar and worshipped for a few days. Finally, they are carried in a colorful procession to water bodies such as tanks, rivers, or lakes and immersed, marking the end of the festival.
People get very emotional while celebrating this festival. They get emotionally attached to the Ganesha idol they purchase and worship for a few days. It isn’t uncommon to see devotees bursting into tears while immersing the idol. When the festival finally comes to an end, people long for it to come again the following year.