We have always been a family who loves get together’s and it would be a great fun for us to have friends and relatives come over for festivals at our house.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most favorite festivals that we wait for the entire year and the days spent in preparing for the arrival of Bappa has its own charm. This all started when we were teens and having Ganesh pandals in buildings and societies was a normal thing and we used to work day and night in such pandals.
My two elder brothers used to diligently go to each house for asking “Vargani” i.e Contribution for making preparations as Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement all over Maharashtra.
Almost a decade ago, my father decided we would welcome Bappa every year at house and that’s when all the fun began. The feeling of having Ganpati Bappa with us at our house is a feeling of pure joy.
As it said that God resides in everything around us, we do believe that God is the ultimate creator and his many faces include Ganesh Ji. He is my ultimate favorite.
Ganesh Chaturthi marks the birthday of Ganpati (Son of Shiv and Parvati) and this is celebrated for 11 days in total. We celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesha for 7 days.
It is a belief that Ganpati takes away all your sorrows for these 7 days and grants you every wish that you make to him in these days.
The arrival of Bappa is divided into 4 parts:-
The first step is to find the perfect Murti of Ganpati. We always try to have the murti as unique and different than it was the previous year.
The eyes are the real deal here. The murti is uniquely made emphasizing on the eyes, so that no matter where you stand, you will always feel that Bappa is watching over you and only you.
This time we decided to go for Gold/Rose Gold murti and I absolutely love it.
We always used to get a readymade thermacol backdrop (known as Makar), but I had this feeling of making a DIY backdrop that would be completely handmade and this year I succeeded in doing so.
Not only did we save some bucks it brought the whole family together and we sat down to make the whole backdrop in just one night that too a day prior to Ganesh Chaturthi.
But it was such a fun filled night. There were ideas, brainstorming and disagreements and finally the outcome was as we all envisioned.
This is still a “work in progress” but we will get there next year.
Ganpati ji is bought home as per the mahurat decided by panditji and we prepare all his favourite dishes. Specially modaks…thats his absolute favourite.
We generally don’t eat garlic or onion during these 7 days. Once it’s mahurat time we bring Bapoa home with a cloth covering his face which is removed after his “Mukh-pujan” is compeleted by Panditji.
We welcome all friends and family for Bappa’s darshan and have lunch together. This continues for the next seven days.
We play games and listen to aartis and that’s a very rejuvenating period. Singing aartis for Ganesh Ji and enjoying the aura of this festival is my favorite part.
During his stay, it is said to be important to arrange “SatyaNarayan” puja which is performed by a married couple.
This is the most heart-wrenching time for everyone who brings Bappa home. With tear-filled eyes, we bid -adieu to our favorite friend and wish to bring him back home again next year.
We keep chanting “Ganpati Bappa Morya Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya” (which means we await your arrival next year with all the more energy and excitement).
We take the murti to a temple where we immerse the idol in a man-made pond to keep the environment safe. All the excitement ends with this. The energy Bappa brought along with him goes with him and we are left with a feeling of nostalgia.
This is how Priyanka and her family celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai
How do you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? Let me know in the comment section below.
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