Gauri ganesh ganapati festival is an important Indian festival.
This hindu religious festival celebrates the birth of the Lord Sri Ganesh or Ganapati,
the revered Hindu elephant god.
Ganapati festival is celebrated as a religious event in homes and as a social event in local areas.
A smaller idol is revered at home and large idols are worshiped in social gatherings.
Gauri and Ganesh idols are for sale for more than a fortnight before the
festival. Larger idols are ordered months in advance.
As people are becoming more aware of the environmental damage the painted idols cause, plain clay Ganesh idols are in demand too.
Many make the idols at home themselves. There are classes conducted to learn ganesh idol making.
The idols above look so cute, don't they?
Some have a tradition to install only a handmade clay idol by themselves. There are also some families where they install the clay idol made on the day on the festival without baking in the oven.
Swarna Gauri festival is celebrated on the third day of Bhadrapad month( tritiya, according to Hindu calender) which falls on 12th Sept 2018.
Swarna Gauri pooja is done mainly in the southern states Karnataka and Andhra. Women pray for health, prosperity and long life for the family. It is a special festival for the newly married girls.
In Maharashtra, Haritalika Gauri is worshipped on this day. It is a festival mainly for women and girls. Women fast and pray.
The Gauri idol is brought along with Ganesh idol. Many delicacies are prepared and shared with family and friends.
Ganapati festival starts on Ganesh chaturthi, the fourth day of Bhadrapad chaturthi. This year, Ganesh chaturthi is on 13th September, 2018.
Ganesh festival is celebrated for 10 days. On the 14 th day of Bhadrapad, Ananat Chaturdashi day, the idols are immersed in water and the festivities end.
Gauri and Ganesh are sent with a heavy heart among the 'Ganapati Bappa morya. Pudhchya varshi lavakar ya'. Which means, 'Beloved Ganapati, come fast next year'.
You really feel as if a family member has gone away.
Lord Ganesh is also known as Gajanan (elephant face), Vighnaharta (remover of calamities), Lambodar (big bellied) etc.
In fact there are hundred and eight names for the loved by everyone god. These 108 names are chanted during the Ganapati pooja.
Earlier Ganapati festival was only a religious festival, celebrated in each home. Later on it became a social festival too.
During the freedom struggle, in Maharashtra, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak made this festival a 'public participation' festival.
The gathering of
people was used to make speeches about getting independence. The public
celebration still continues even after the Indian independence.
People bring home idols of Gauri and Ganesh and offer them pooja. Elaborate pooja, chanting / singing Sanskrit mantra, songs, foods are the specialty of this Ganesha festival.
Specific food items, favorites of Gauri and Ganesh are prepared to offer to gods and then shared by family and friends.
On Ganesha chaturthi day, many people/kids try to visit and pray to 108 Ganapati idols. Many kids manage to do that.
In Maharashtra, there are many public places where groups set up Ganapati pandals and large Ganesh idols are kept there for ten days of the festival.
The arrangement of the idol is based on many mythological, historical stories. The mantap - pandal is illuminated with colorful lights.
People throng to see these ganapati idols, especially in the evenings - nights. The atmosphere is very festive for these 10-12 days.
Not just hindus, people of all communities join in making this festival a success.
In Pune, Maharashtra, where I grew up, I used to visit many illuminated ganapati pandals in the late evenings with my parents and siblings. It was great fun.
During these ten day, many entertainment programs are arranged for public. Competitions are held among the local residents for Rangoli, cooking, singing etc.
On the eleventh day, the Anant Chaturdashi day, the idols are taken in procession and immersed in water of a pond, river.
No birthday celebration is complete without delicious food. The preparation for ganesh festival begins a few days in advance as many sweets and savories are prepared. There are specific dishes made for ganapati festival.
Ganapati's favorite modak and karanji is prepared in every house. In Karnataka and Andhra, 'Kai obbattu' - (coconut sweet flat bread) is prepared.
Many other sweets are also made according to the family's choice.
Here are some special Gauri Ganesh festival recipes. Select the ones that your family likes and enjoy these dishes with them.