Ganesh Chaturthi: Lord Ganesh Came to Stay

After celebrating the love between Lord Shiva and Gauri (Goddess Parvati), we welcomed their son, Ganesh, into our home. Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most spectacular festivals on the Hindu calendar, many weeks of preparation have led up to this event, craftsmen and artists have been busy building idols of this round bellied God in a huge variety of sizes and poses. During the last couple of weeks, shops selling Lord Ganesh idols have popped up on every street. Lord Ganesh has been eagerly waiting to be welcomed into homes across India, last night the mass exodus occurred in a glorious fashion.

The shop where our Lord Ganesh came from, so many to choose from

The shop where our Lord Ganesh came from, so many to choose from

We chose our clay Ganesh idol a couple of weeks ago, but like the other Ganpatta Bappa statues waiting on the roadside, he had to wait festival began to come into our home. The night before the festival, the traffic terrible, the whole of Nagpur was out collecting their Lord Ganesh, buying decorations, flowers and sweets. It reminded me of Christmas eve in England, that last minute rush. A mixture of stress and excitement.

cute ganesh on flower an leaf

Our top three (we chose the middle one!)

Just like Christmas, we bought tinsel, but instead of putting it around a tree, we used the shiny tinsel to decorate the area Lord Ganesh would be staying during the festival.  The whole evening, especially the tinsel, reminded me of Christmas eve, of my family, and I became really emotional and home sick.

The morning started with a pooja (prayer) to invoke the spirit of Lord Ganesh into our clay statue, a priest came to chant the mantras as my husband performed the pooja. Lord Ganesh is said to bestow his presence to every one of his devotees during this auspicious time. After being adorned with the holy leaves of Hinduism, red flowers, haldi (tumeric), kumkum (red auspicious powder) and a touch of his heart, the divinity of Lord Ganesh dwells in the clay statue. I love hearing my husband chant Sanskrit. 

ganesh poojaGanesh Chaturthi

our ganesh

Our Lord Ganesh after the pooja

Ganesh Chaturthi haldi kum kum coconut

Ganesh Chaturthi RANGOLI

Rangoli outside our house

That evening my husband and I went out for pav bhaji (one of the most amazing Indian dishes, originating from Mumbai) and we saw so many Lord Ganesh statues in trucks, travelling behind huge processions of dancing and drums.

Ganesh Chaturthi big one

funny ganesh

funny ganesh truckGanesh Visarjan ganesh 2 Nagpur Ganesh

The whole city was alive with beating drums, fireworks and celebrations. Before going to sleep we all performed another ritual to Lord Ganesh, aarti, where a small flame is offered to the God as a Sanskrit song is sang (me and Alfonso couldn’t sing the song, we didn’t know the words).

 

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18 thoughts on “Ganesh Chaturthi: Lord Ganesh Came to Stay

  1. Seeing all this makes me wish I was in India right now. Nowhere does festivals quite like India does! The place really is a visual feast. …The trouble I have with visiting places with such vibrant cultures is that I find the UK very dull by comparison on my return. Years can pass, and I still feel that I want to be in those places (specifically Rajasthan or West Africa). *Sigh!*
    I know some might say, “Make it happen!”…”Relocate!”, but it’s one thing to go and become part of a family, as you have done, Lauren, and quite another, as a single woman, to just pitch yourself out there with nowhere and no-one that you actually belong to. (You can’t anyway, because of visa restrictions.) And in societies which revolve around family, you are regarded as something of a misfit, I would have thought, if you don’t belong to one yourself. Being part of a family gives you an identity and a protection in somewhere like India. Unless you are part of one, I imagine you would be forever on the margins.

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    • Hey Nicola,

      I think that there would not be so much of a stigma if you found a job here, then you could get an employment visa and who knows, maybe acquire an Indian family 😉

      I do know what you mean though, when I came back from India it was very dull for a while, but going to beautiful places in England like Bath, cute coastal towns and lovely places in London, helped!

      Take care, Lauren x

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  2. Hi Lauren,
    I don’t know if there is a technical problem with your website, but with this post it states that there are now seven comments, and yet only two are on here. I’m wondering whether people are posting comments and they are vanishing into the ether?
    I imagine many people will have read this post and enjoyed it (seeing you with your husband performing pooja in your home) so I would have expected to see more comments than just two, by this stage. (And if only two of us have actually responded, why does it say “7” comments… until you click on it and it suddenly changes to “2”?)
    Regards, Nicola xx

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    • You can ignore the above comment now! As soon as I clicked “Post Comment” it did so, and all the missing ones appeared as well! (I had scrolled down to the very bottom of the page, and they were definitely not there before!!) Most peculiar.
      Please feel free to delete this comment and the one above, as they add nothing to the thread, and evidently no longer apply.
      Nicola 🙂

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      • Hey Nicola,

        Since moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org several people have told me that they have had trouble commenting… I am trying to sort it out 🙂

        I hope you are well!!

        Lauren xxx

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