Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vinayaka Chathurthi\Ganesh Chathurthi

Celebration   : Lord Ganesha
Known for     : Energy of power
Religion         : Hindu
In the month of : August - September

Vinayaka Chathurthi is an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). This typically comes sometime between 20th of August and 15th of September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

While held all over India, it is at its most elaborate in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire.

The Festivity

On the day of Ganesha Chaturthi, meditation on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha use to start early in the morning. Then, after taking a bath, devotees go to the temple and offer prayers to Lord Ganesha as well as offering Him some coconuts and sweet pudding. If one prays with faith and devotion then He may remove all the obstacles that one experiences on the spiritual path.

The Receipes

Modak is the main dish for this festival.
Kozhukkatttai are made into different varieties, salt, sweet, and in different shapes. For all, the kozhukkattai flour is the same, made of rice flour.Stuffing varies. The shape also can be varied. First make the flour and then make it into the form of a hollow hemisphere. Then place the different stuffings inside it. While covering the stuffing simple extend the flour to get the required shape.

The Decorations
At home, people decorate the floors of their houses with "Kolams" (designs) using rice flour. A fresh image of Ganesha in clay is made and worshiped on this day. A decorated umbrella is placed behind the idol. On a wooden plank, plantain leaf is placed and raw rice is spread over it. The idol is placed on the plantain leaf and decorated with flowers. Then the puja is performed, One hundred and eight different names of the Lord are repeated after the preliminary ceremonies and 108 different flowers are thrown in worship over them.

Different varieties of sweet puddings are prepared and offered to the Lord. Different varieties of fruits are also offered. After the puja people listen to the story of how Lord Krishna cleared His character regarding the Syamantaka jewel. Then they bow to the Lord to seek His blessings. Take fresh spiritual resolves and pray to Lord Ganesha for inner spiritual strength to attain success in all your undertakings.

After being worshipped for two days, or in some cases ten days, the idol is taken in a grand procession and immersed in the sea. Yudhisthira, the hero of the Mahabharata, Damayanti, the queen of the Nishada King Nala, Indra, the Lord of Heavens and even Krishna, the expounder of the Bhagavatgita are said to have devoutly worshipped Ganesha to obtain their desired ends.

Ganesh Visrjan

On the day of the visarjan (immersion), huge processions of people carry the idol to a river, lake or ocean, among fervid shouts of Ganapathi Bappa Morya, a chant popular in Maharashtra

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