Monday, September 20, 2010

Ganpati Bappa Morya

‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ is what you will hear in Mumbai, during the festival period of Ganesh Chaturthi which lasts upto a period of 12days. Ganpati is the most loved God and is invoked prior to the beginning of any task for his blessings. This festival today is celebrated across all castes and classes. Till 1892, this was a private celebration in peoples’ homes but ever since Lokmanya Tilak recognized the wide appeal of the deity Ganesh as "the God for everybody", he popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in order to bridge the gap between
all communities and to build a new grassroots unity between them to generate nationalistic fervor among people in Maharashtra against the British colonial rule. Two to three months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi, artistic clay models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by skilled artisans. They are beautifully decorated and depict Lord Ganesh in various poses. The size of these statues may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet. Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures mandapas (pandals) in every locality. The pandals are erected by the people of a specific society or locality or group by collecting monetary contributions from the devotees. For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed. The idols are immersed as that is the best way to dispose off the idols after the festival since they have lot of sentiments attached and cannot be trashed or junked. At individual homes the Visarjan is also done on 3rd, 5th or 7th day as per the family tradition Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival, it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Maharashtra. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. You must visit Mumbai during this period to get a real feel of public celebration! Ganpati Bappa Morya!!